It sounds like an appealing idea, doesn’t it – let someone else handle your claim and if it proves to be unsuccessful you won’t have to foot the bill. But are no win no fee arrangements really that simple?
No win, no fee lawyers in Brisbane may offer different types of agreements, so it is important to fully understand how no win, no fee agreements can work. The following is a summary of some key points you should consider when talking to a no win, no fee lawyer:
1. Contingency fees are prohibited
A contingency fee means that the lawyers’ fee is calculated as a percentage of any settlement you may achieve in your personal injury claim. It is generally illegal for lawyers to charge a contingency fee. In other words, it is generally illegal for a lawyer to say they will agree to act on your behalf on the basis that they take 50% of your settlement.
2. Legal fees
Legal fees are generally the professional fees the lawyer will charge for the work they are doing for you. Most no win, no fee agreements are on the basis that you do not have to pay the lawyer any of his or her professional fees if your claim does not succeed. However, you have to be aware that some no win, no fee lawyers will still charge you what are called “legal outlays”.
3. Legal Outlays
Legal outlays are expenses that the lawyer incurs in investigating and running your claim. These expenses can include such things as the cost of a barrister and the cost of obtaining your medical records and hospital records. It can also include the cost of obtaining medico-legal evidence, other expert reports, police reports, registration and company searches. It is important you ask the lawyer whether the no win, no fee agreement also applies to legal outlays. If it does, then the lawyer will take on all the risk of their legal fees, as well as all the risk of paying the legal outlays. So, if you do not win your case, then you do not have to pay the lawyer anything. Carew Lawyers work on the basis that both legal fees and legal outlays are covered by the no win, no fee agreement.
4. Cap on Legal Fees
Some no win, no fee lawyers will also apply a maximum cap on their legal fees. This is very different to a contingency fee. The maximum cap is basically a safety net so that if the legal fees were higher than the capped amount, the lawyer would actually reduce the legal fees that you pay. As an example, if a personal injury claim settled for $100,000 and legal fees happened to be say $90,000 and there is a maximum cap on legal fees of 35%, then the lawyer would actually have to reduce the legal fees that you pay to 35% cap, or $35,000 plus GST.
Carew Lawyers are happy to discuss their no win, no fee option and provide you full and honest advice about the legal fees and outlays with you. Call the Brisbane office on (07) 3236 1528 to get started today.