If you’ve been injured or suffered other losses due to someone else’s negligence, but you’re worried about the cost of pursuing a claim, no win no fee solicitors offer a way to make a compensation claim without any financial risk to you. That’s because you won’t have to pay any legal fees upfront, and even then you’ll only pay if your claim is successful.
No Win No Fee – also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA) – is an agreement between you and your solicitor which means you won’t have to pay their fee if they don’t win your case. This means that you don’t pay any costs upfront – once your solicitor takes on your case, you’ll only need to pay them if you win compensation.
When you make a personal injury claim, most solicitors will help you make your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. There are some rare exceptions to this, but if this applies to your case, they’ll let you know before starting your claim and will talk you through the other options available.
No Win No Fee solicitors will be able to handle most of the claim on your behalf, leaving you with the time to concentrate on recovering from your injury. They’ll keep you up-to-date with any progress and will be on-hand to give you help and advice if you need it.
Most types of personal injury claims can be made on a No Win No Fee basis. The main requirement is that someone has to be at fault for your injury, regardless of whether it happened whilst you were at work or in a public space.
Some examples of accidents you can make a No Win No Fee claim for include:
If you win your case, your solicitor will take a small percentage fee from the compensation you’re awarded, but this is agreed between you before they begin work on your case – in most cases it will be up to 25% of the money you receive. There are no hidden fees – the main priority is to make sure you get the money you need for your recovery, so you don’t need to worry about all your compensation being taken up by legal fees and solicitors’ costs.
If you don’t win, you won’t need to pay your solicitor. This removes any financial risk to you when making a personal injury claim. They’ll take out what is known as ATE insurance, which covers your legal fees if you lose your claim. ATE insurance covers costs and expenses paid out on your behalf including expert reports, barristers’ fees and court fees.
If you lose your case, you’ll usually need to pay at least a proportion of the other party’s legal costs. However, ATE insurance also covers this for you, so it adds another layer of financial protection.
Some cases are abandoned part way through a claim; for instance, it may become apparent following expert evidence that the chances of you winning your claim are far lower than first thought. ATE insurance will also cover the legal fees and costs already incurred if your case is dropped.
Termination fees may apply if your case doesn’t proceed because you don’t cooperate fully with your solicitor by:
This fee will be based on time spent on your claim, but you don’t need to worry about it as long as you comply with the things that your solicitor asks you to do.
To find out whether you could make a no win no fee claim, you can speak to a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or enter your name and phone number into one of the contact forms on this page and they’ll call you back. Generally, it’s likely you could claim if:
But we know it can sometimes be difficult for you to tell who’s responsible for your injury, so we recommend getting in touch with a legal adviser for assistance.
Legal aid hasn’t been available for personal injury claims since the year 2000 – instead, it was replaced by No Win No Fee.
Legal aid is funding from the government which helps people to pay for legal costs so that they can get a fair hearing. Although this is no longer possible for personal injury cases, it can be used for other legal cases such as medical negligence involving children.
In order to be able to receive legal aid, you have to prove that you can’t afford to pay for legal representation on your own.
Some people have no other funding options to help them make a compensation claim, which is why most injury solicitors take claims on a no win no fee basis. However, you might find that you do have other funding options without realising – for example:
Sometimes there’s a shortfall in the amount you’ll be covered for, so it’s worth double checking how much is available. Again, your solicitor can talk you through whether this provides enough cover and, if not, what your options are. In some cases, No Win No Fee can be used to make up the shortfall.
It is difficult to estimate how much compensation you could receive as the amount will depend on the injuries you have suffered, and the financial impact of those injuries. This is why compensation is split in to two different parts: general damages and special damage.
General damages cover the pain and suffering caused by the accident. Special damages cover the financial impact of your injuries, such as loss of earnings (including the loss of future earnings if you can’t return to work), medical expenses, and the cost of alterations to your house if your mobility is impacted.
For general damages, the Judicial College Guidelines are used as a reference point for solicitors and judges. The guidelines, currently in their 16th edition, are updated every couple of years to reflect recent court awards and increases (or decreases) in the Retail Price Index.
The table below shows a range of different types of injuries, and the amount of general damages awarded depending on severity. These figures do not include any special damages that you could be awarded.
|Injury Type||Minor||Moderate||Severe||Very severe|
|Arm injuries||Up to £19,200||£19,200 to £39,170||£39,170 to £59,860||£96,160 to £130,930|
|Wrist injuries||Up to £7,430||£6,080 to £10,350||£12,590 to £39,170||£47,620 to £59,860|
|Hand injuries||Up to £4,750||£5,720 to £29,000||£29,000 to £61,910||£55,820 to £201,490|
|Finger/thumb injuries||Up to £4,750||£4,750 to £12,590||£12,590 to £35,010||£35,010 to £90,750|
|Leg injuries||Up to £27,760||£27,760 to £39,200||£39,200 to £54,830||£54,830 to £135,920|
|Knee injuries||Up to £13,740||£14,840 to £26,190||£26,190 to £43,460||£52,120 to £96,210|
|Ankle injuries||Up to £13,740||£13,740 to £26,590||£31,310 to £50,060||£50,060 to £69,700|
|Back injuries||Up to £12,510||£12,510 to £38,780||£38,780 to £88,430||£91,090 to £160,980|
|Neck injuries (excluding non-severe whiplash)||Up to £7,890||£7,890 to £38,490||£45,470 to £130,930||Around £148,330|
|Paraplegia||n/a||n/a||n/a||£219,070 to £284,260|
|Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia)||n/a||n/a||n/a||£324,600 to £403,990|
|Fatal injuries||n/a||n/a||n/a||£1,370 to £23,810|
|Whiplash (lasting less than 2 years)||Up to £1,390||£2,040 to £4,345||n/a||n/a|
|Shoulder/clavicle injuries||Up to £7,890||£7,890 to £12,770||£12,770 to £48,030||n/a|
|Hip injuries||Up to £12,590||£12,590 to £39,170||£39,170 to £78,400||£78,400 to £130,930|
|Nose fractures||Up to £2,520||£2,520 to £3,150||£3,950 to £5,200||£10,640 to £23,130|
|Jaw fractures||n/a||£6,460 to £8,730||£17,960 to £30,490||£30,490 to £45,540|
|Bowel injury||n/a||£12,590 to £24,480||£44,590 to £79,920||Up to £184,200|
|Hernia||£3,390 to £7,230||£7,010 to £9,110||£14,900 to £24,170||n/a|
|Brain damage||£2,210 to £12,770||£43,320 to £219,070||£219,070 to £282,010||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Epilepsy||Up to £10,640||£10,640 to £26,290||£54,830 to £131,370||£102,000 to £150,110|
|Total blindness||n/a||n/a||n/a||Around £268,720|
|Total loss of one eye||n/a||n/a||n/a||£54,830 to £65,710|
|Loss of sight in one eye||£9,110 to £20,980||£23,680 to £39,340||£49,270 to £95,990||£95,990 to £179,770|
|Minor eye injuries||£2,200 to £8,730||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Loss of one arm||n/a||n/a||£96,160 to £130,930||At least £137,160|
|Loss of both arms||n/a||n/a||n/a||£240,790 to £300,000|
|Loss of one leg||n/a||n/a||n/a||£97,980 to £137,470|
|Loss of both legs||n/a||n/a||n/a||£201,490 to £282,010|
|Loss of one hand||n/a||n/a||n/a||£96,160 to £109,650|
|Loss of both hands||n/a||n/a||n/a||£140,660 to £201,490|
|Non-facial scarring||Up to £7,380||£7,380 to £22,730||£22,730 to £104,830||Over £104,830|
While every case is unique, and there’s no guarantee your no win no fee claim will be successful, there are several factors that can influence the outcome of your claim:
Yes, you can. In some cases, the injured person is unable to make a compensation claim because they’re too young; or they might be so seriously injured that they’re mentally incapable of giving instructions and understanding what’s happening. In these cases, the next of kin or another close relative can make a claim on their behalf. No Win No Fee is available in the exactly the same way as any other injury claim.
Your solicitor can talk you through the process of claiming on somebody’s behalf, but in some cases, they’ll need the injured person’s consent to start the process.
For more information, and to find out whether you could make a claim, you can speak to an expert legal adviser on 0800 234 6438. If you decide to go ahead with your claim, they’ll be able to put you in touch with a solicitor who can take you through the next steps.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.
By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.
If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.