Paying the cost of personal injury claim

Paying the cost of a personal injury claim

Today a claimant bringing a personal injury compensation case can be protected from the risk of paying the other side’s fees if the case goes wrong and you have to pay legal costs. This risk can be covered by legal expenses insurance, trade union support, by having legal aid in the few cases for which it is available, and after the event insurance.

Legal expenses insurance is a policy you have bought in its own right, or as an add-on to vehicle or home insurance, or it might be part of the benefits package with a credit card or bank account. The legal expenses insurer must agree to support your case, and has the ability to pull out if the prospects of success reduce. Provided the legal expenses insurer supports the case, and you comply with its terms and conditions, then you have protection against legal costs up to the indemnity limit of the policy.

Trade unions often support personal injury claims, and they stand behind their member and will pay any costs order made against him or her. Just like legal expenses insurance the trade union has to be satisfied your claim has a reasonable chance of success.

Legal aid is not usually available for personal injury claims. A losing claimant who is legally aided is not usually ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs if the claim fails.

After the event insurance works just like legal expenses insurance save you buy it after the accident, hence its name. The premium is much higher than the annual premium for legal expenses insurance, but today this is not a problem as if your personal injury case succeeds the other side will pay the premium for this insurance along with your other legal costs and expenses.

Please note that a conditional fee agreement, or no win no fee as it is called, only deal with your liability to pay your own solicitors costs and expenses. You are still liable to pay the other side’s costs if your claim does not succeed so you need after the event insurance to cover this risk.

This is the position today, but the position is going to change, and probably in the autumn of 2012.

Read about the changes here.

About Mark Thompson

Personal injury and accident specialist solicitor

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