Does it cost to make a claim?

Those who’ve suffered some form of accident may well be aware that they’re entitled to claim compensation from those who were responsible.  This money can make a serious difference to the quality of life of those who are unable to work because of their injuries.  Many people are uncertain about is whether or not it costs money to make a claim.  The answer, in a sense, is a simple one – yes, sometimes.  The following information details some of the typical expenses that can be incurred while making a claim.

One of the main expenses will occur if you should choose to go down the route of paying for any legal assistance.  This is only advisable for those with a high income, as paying legal fees upfront can be very expensive and, if the case is lost, those fees can not be reclaimed.  It is for this reason that ‘no win, no fee*’ arrangements have become the most common means of making a claim.

Although this is a far more sensible way of obtaining compensation, there are, however, some costs that can still occur.

One of the main chances of incurring a cost is simply if the case is lost.  If you were responsible for bringing the case forward, you will be considered to have wasted the other side’s time if they aren’t found to be responsible, and because of this you will be expected to pay the costs that they incurred during the claim.  One of the ways that claimants prepare for this is to invest in ‘after the event’ insurance, with many solicitors insisting this is purchased before they proceed with a claim.  It is important to remember that you won’t get the cost of the insurance back if you lose.

Aside from the other side’s costs, the main expenses are those of the solicitor themselves, which are broken down into two main areas.

Firstly, there are the basic fees.  Essentially, these are the standard costs of having a solicitor represent you during your claim.  As part of the ‘no win, no fee*’ policy, you won’t have to pay these costs should the case be lost, and should you win, the other side will normally be expected to pay for them, although they can dispute the amount that they’re being requested to pay.  On some occasions, a solicitor might agree in advance to charge you only what can be obtained from the other side.

The second main cost from the solicitor is their success fee.  This is typically taken out of your winning claim, so you won’t pay for it as such.  The cut taken is, however, normally bigger than the standard costs in a legal case, so you should be sure that you agree with it before you proceed with the claim.  It is standard practice, of course, for the percentage of the cut to be agreed before the claim proceeds, so you’ll have the chance not to proceed should you feel the need to.

Finally, you can also be charged small expenses for things such as fees for experts, accident report fees, court fees and travelling expenses, so you should talk these through with your solicitor before you decide to proceed.

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