Friday, 27 March 2015

Thompsons: Funding a Spinal Cord Injury Claim – The Options

Funding solicitors’ costs and expenses may seem daunting but at Thompsons Solicitors we will work with you to make sure that all the options open to you are explained and give you guidance on what to consider before you decide which solicitor to instruct.

After a serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury, you should expect that a solicitor should normally be happy to discuss the claim with you on an initial “no obligation, no fee” basis. The discussion should be confidential and will cover the circumstances of your accident/ injury and the injuries you suffered. Thompsons Solicitors are specialist in spinal cord injuries and we believe it is important that you understand what the legal process will involve.

When we would sit down with you to discuss the ways that you can fund a spinal injury claim we will explain all the options. They are:

  1. Asking if you have membership of a Trade Union or other membership organisation which provides you with access to legal services. Trade unions may assist with the costs of your claim.
  2. Checking whether you have legal expenses insurance. You may have legal expenses insurance as part of your car insurance policy, household insurance or credit card insurance. If your injury was not a road traffic accident check your household and any credit card insurance. If you have legal expenses insurance you may be able to use this to cover the legal costs of your claim. Your solicitor will be able to check any policies and contact your insurer for you if applicable.
  3. Working to a “no win, no fee agreement”.  If options 1 & 2 do not apply and we believe you have a potential claim we will send you a formal agreement known a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). You will be advised of the detail of this agreement but the essential points are:

·    If you lose your claim you do not pay any fees or expenses;
·    If you win your claim the majority of your costs should be recovered from your opponent’s insurer;
·    You will not usually be asked to make any payment up front for your legal costs or expenses;
·    The costs recovered from the opponent’s insurer will be in addition to the compensation payment made to you;
·    You will probably be advised to take out insurance to cover your opponent’s costs at the stage court proceedings are issued, for which there will be a premium which you will have to pay if the case is successful. You are likely to have to pay for that premium if the case is successful;
·    Some solicitors will deduct from your final compensation payment and if in doubt you should clarify if this is likely to happen. At Thompsons we will always tell you if that applies. The amount that can be deducted is subject to a cap which cannot be more than 25% the compensation for your injury and your financial losses incurred to the date of settlement. No deduction can be taken from your future financial losses.

At Thompsons Solicitors, we will always present you with all the funding options that are available. We provide an initial consultation free of charge and work on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. For more information on funding a claim, visit our serious injury hub

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