Choosing Lawyers For No Win No Fee Cases
Legal battles and court proceedings can be long, complicated and tiring. Not to mention, there’s also the mountain of dreaded financial costs for engaging legal representation! Fortunately, there are no win no fee lawyers who will only require payment if your case wins.
Is no win no fee a good idea though? Although hiring these lawyers will significantly decrease your financial burdens, you may still be liable to pay large sums of money if you lose your case.
Hence, we have explained how no win no fee lawyers work and their hidden costs below, so that you can protect yourself from unexpected financial costs.
Financial Costs Of No Win No Fee Lawyers
There are three different types of fees that need to be paid for hiring no win no fee lawyers: professional fees, disbursements, and barrister’s fees.
Professional fees are your lawyer’s earnings and will only need to be paid if your case is successful. The fees are calculated based on an hourly rate or at fixed sums for the different types of services they provide.
A lawyer can impose a maximum limit on the amount of money they can earn from your case. This will allow you to work within your budget and ensure that you will not be unpleasantly surprised when the final bill arrives.
If the lawyer does not mention or impose a limit, you can ask for an estimate before you sign any agreement contracts. To further protect yourself, you should regularly ask if there are any changes to the cost.
According to New South Wales law, the fee cannot be a percentage of your payout –– this is to prevent lawyers from charging you disproportionately high fees for their work.
Disbursements can take up a significant portion of your legal fees. They are incurred when your lawyer consults experts such as forensics or medical personnel and acquires various reports.
These consultations with experts are needed to strengthen our case and increase its chances of success. Disbursements also cover court fees and travel expenses.
Your lawyer may also consult a barrister. The barrister is a legal practitioner who specializes in litigation, which is the process of taking legal action, and advocacy, which is the act of persuading the court to act favourably towards their client.
Disbursements and barrister’s fees can be considered fee traps as you may still have to pay them even if your case is unsuccessful. No win no fee lawyers do not charge professional fees if your case loses, but this does not extend to disbursements and barrister’s fees.
Their lawyers may charge you interest for your disbursements and barrister’s fees, which you will need to pay at the end of your case. Interest is usually charged when your lawyer takes on a loan on your behalf by funding your case through another firm.
You should avoid lawyers who require you to pay disbursements and barrister’s fees, or interest on these fees, even when your case loses. You should also avoid lawyers who charge by the hour, as it will limit your ability to freely discuss your case with the lawyer without incurring high legal fees.
Choosing A Lawyer
It is important to choose a lawyer that best matches your needs and budget. There is no cookie-cutter answer as every plaintiff’s case is unique, but there are three factors to keep in mind: financial cost, the lawyer’s attitude, as well as their specialization.
1. Financial Cost
When you are going through the lawyer’s cost agreement, be sure to clarify how you are expected to pay for disbursements. This includes whether you have to pay for disbursements upfront or when you don’t win the case, and whether you will be charged interest for your disbursement.
If the lawyer only requires you to pay disbursements if you win the case with no national interest, the lawyer may be youtube for you. Additionally, it shows that the lawyer has confidence that your case will win, as they are willing to take a risk and pay up-front costs.
2. Attitude And Personality
It is encouraged to choose a lawyer who makes a thorough effort to find out all the details of your case so that they can more effectively help you fight to get the maximum compensation.
The lawyer should take time to build rapport with you and meet up in person with you to discuss the case. They should also be easily contactable should you need any clarifications.
3. Lawyer’s Specialization
You will have a higher chance of winning your case and getting the maximum compensation if your lawyer specializes in your claim type and has experience winning such claims.
Some law firms have specialist teams for each type of claim: medical negligence, car accident, workers compensation, public liability, and total permanent disability (TPD).
Medical negligence tends to be expensive due to high disbursement costs. These costs are used for medico-legal experts, who will produce reports that prove that your suffering is due to medical negligence.
Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claims are filed by victims who are injured due to the partial or complete fault of another vehicle. If you file for a CTP claim in New South Wales, your insurance company might pay your legal fees.
You can further decrease your financial losses by consulting a no win no fee lawyer. The lawyer will be paid through your insurer and not out of your pocket. If the lawyer’s fees exceed the maximum amount you can claim from insurance, you will only need to pay them after you are compensated.
The Independent Review Office (IRO) may cover all or part of your legal fees if your workers’ compensation law applies to them for funding. For legal actions like claiming for work injury damages, you can further decrease your financial risk through a no win no fee lawyer.
A no win no fee lawyer will greatly reduce your risk as you will be claiming against an insurer who is well-supported by their lawyers.
Total Permanent Disability (TPD)
It is recommended that you consult a TPD lawyer before you file a claim. They will help you determine your eligibility to claim by revealing TPD policies and your superannuation funds. Some lawyers may offer these initial consultations for free.
Legal proceedings can take a toll on your finances. However, hiring no win no fee lawyers is a great way to minimize your financial risk without compromising the quality of legal representation.
Unfortunately, some no win no fee lawyers may be misleading about their fees, which may cause you to incur costs that you were not expecting.
To protect yourself from such unpleasant surprises, it is helpful to have a solid understanding of the basics of how no win no fee works so that you have the information to choose the lawyer most suitable for you.