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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Changes to injury law in the UK


    Changes to injury law in the UK

    Procedures for personal injury law in the UK are about to change.

    From 1st April 2013, claimants of compensation under personal injury law will need to be aware of changes to the rules on the liability for legal fees and also revised caps on eligibility.

    Key changes

    A “legal aid levy” of 25% will be taken from the award paid to a successful claimant, to contribute towards the legal fees, if they have been able to get legal aid to help them pursue their case. The eligibility criteria for legal aid in cases of medical claims, changes from 1st April, so that far fewer applicants will qualify for it.

    No win no fee*

    Traditionally, claimants under personal injury law who could not afford to start a claim would be able to find a solicitor willing to proceed on a “no win no fee” basis, which again, meant that the solicitor would hope to win the case and have the fees paid by the losing side.

    Insurance against losing

    In the event of not being successful in the case, a litigant could take out an insurance policy, in some circumstances, to cover the legal fees if they didn’t win. Formerly, it was the losing side that paid the legal fees. These fees included a “success fee” which acted as an offset against other times when the same solicitor might lose and take the liability for the fees of the other side. However, from 1st April, successful claimants will have to meet up to 25% of the success fee, since the defendants will not have to pay it.

    Get clued up

    It’s important for claimants seeking compensation under personal injury law to be aware of these changes, so that they know exactly what the facts and figures are before they start a claim. In particular they need to be aware that they should make provision for the fact that when a compensation award is quoted, or offered, that they will likely lose 25% of it and should do their financial planning for their rehabilitation and return to work accordingly. In most cases, claims started prior to 1st April will be subject to the current procedures.

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    Date Published: March 20, 2013

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.