This article is in partnership with Smith’s Lawyer.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you can reach a no-gain, no-cost agreement with your attorney, taking the stress out of an already stressful situation. You won’t have to pay attorney’s fees if you lose.
In a no-win, no-cost agreement, your attorney agrees that you will only have to pay the filing fee if you win.
Fees charged under a no-commitment, no-fee agreement are higher than for a standard-cost agreement. This is because lawyers take the risk that they will only be paid for their services if the case is successful.
What fees will I expect to pay?
There may be hidden costs involved in the no-win agreement and fees that you will only become aware of afterwards. Here are some expenses you will likely have to pay:
You will have to pay the other party’s legal costs if you are unsuccessful, although you will not have to pay your own costs. If a case fails, the losing party must pay the winning party’s legal fees. On the other hand, Smiths Lawyers will pay the other party’s legal fees if your case fails.
Disbursements are not court fees, so they will be payable if you win your case. These are payments made to a third party in connection with your business.
These costs include photocopies, expert’s fees and lawyer’s fees. Whether or not lawyers can recover their disbursements should be stated in the fee agreement.
If you win your case, the surcharge fee is usually described as being in addition to legal fees and usually expressed as a percentage of the fee.
The 50/50 rule
The 50/50 rule applies to no-win, no-cost agreements when there is a claim for bodily injury damages. The rule states that a law firm’s maximum charge is half (50 percent) of the settlement amount after deducting reimbursements and disbursements.
There are a few key things to know about the 50/50 rule. The rule will not apply in the following cases:
- If the claim is not for damages for bodily injury;
- Claims against insurance companies under life or disability insurance policies;
- Claims for government benefits.
The 50/50 does not include interest on litigation-related or claim-related loans, and interest must be paid from the client’s share in the settlement or judgment.
If you change companies midway through your case, there may be a dispute over what each company is entitled to. The courts have yet to rule on the matter. These claims will be negotiated between the parties involved, depending on the amount of work performed by each company.
The rule ensures that the client receives a fair share of the settlement or judgment.
With the no-gain-no-cost settlement, you won’t have to decide whether your claim is worth pursuing, considering the issue of costs. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to see if they will take on your case at no cost. No-Gain, No-Cost settlements take the sting out of bodily injury claims.