A no win no fee personal injury claim is a type of legal claim, usually a civil claim, taken by an attorney representing a plaintiff. This type of legal claim is referred to as “no win no fee” because the attorney will waive basic legal fees unless the plaintiff he or she represents is awarded money in the case. Once money is awarded, then the attorney will typically take a certain percentage as his or her fee. This type of claim is something of a risky proposition for an attorney, and a lawyer will usually only accept a case he or she believes has merit.
Also called a contingent fee claim or arrangement, a no win no fee personal injury claim can consist of just about any kind of personal injury claim. These are usually accidental claims, such as motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, wrongful death suits, and medical malpractice claims. When a lawyer takes on this type of personal injury claim, the lawyer and plaintiff will typically agree on hourly lawyer fees and other expenses involved in building a case. In a no win no fee claim, however, the lawyer agrees to waive his or her fees unless they win the case and the plaintiff is awarded monetary compensation.
This type of claim is often beneficial for someone who may not have the money to pay a lawyer prior to awarding of money from a personal injury case. Since a lawyer working on this type of case will not effectively make any money unless the case is won, lawyers are very careful about what cases they accept on contingency. There are also a few things a plaintiff should consider with regard to a no win no fee personal injury claim.
While any lawyer fees are waived until compensation is awarded, secondary costs may still be charged to a client regardless of whether a case is won or lost. These charges can include fees for making copies, mailing paperwork, interviewing witnesses, and basic court costs. A plaintiff should be aware of these costs throughout a case, and some lawyers will accept help from a plaintiff to perform these tasks, rather than charging to do them. The percentage that a lawyer will take from a no win no fee personal injury claim can vary widely; it may be as low as 25% of awarded money if the case is settled prior to pre-trial discovery, though if the case is won after going to court the fee can be closer to 35%.