10 years of No-Win No-Fee Compensation Claims
The tenth anniversary of the introduction of No-Win No-Fee to in England and Wales has highlighted the importance of Conditional Fee Agreements and the controversy they have created since their introduction in 1998.
In the words of Labour Minister Geoff Hoon “No-win no-fee conditional agreements will result in better access to justice…” and “In future, the question of whether one gets one’s case to court will no longer depend on whether one can afford it, but on whether one’s case is a strong one"
The No-Win No-Fee agreement, or Conditional Fee Agreement as it is officially called, opened up access to justice to many more people who had been injured in accidents that were not their fault. With the extension No-Win No-Fee as brought about by the Access to Justice Act 1999, funding legal cases became much easier for people who, in the past, may have found that they could not afford to pay up front for a solicitor.
Did No-Win No-Fee create a Compensation Culture?
Since their introduction Conditional Fee Agreements have generated considerable controversy, with many people claiming they have created a “Compensation Culture” where people will sue for even very minor accidents. However the figures for total compensation claims have remained relatively stable at around 700,000 claims per year. In fact, nearly all of the increase in the annual rate of claims took place in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, when claims rose from a rate of around 250,000 per year.
A 2006 report on the Compensation Culture by the Government found that there was no evidence that No-Win No-Fee claims had made more people seek compensation. The purpose of the No-Win No-Fee agreement is to provide finance to legitimate claimants who might not otherwise have been able to make a compensation claim. Personal Injury law firms will not take on cases that have little or no prospects for success, or where there has been no injury.
As well as the rise of a compensation culture, no-win no-fee claims have also been blamed for creating a “risk averse” culture where games of conkers are banned, lamp-posts are padded and playgrounds closed. This couldn’t be further from the truth, law firms have no interest in taking on spurious or questionable claims – remember; if a claim fails it is the losing solicitor who does not get paid.
The report went on to exonerate personal injury litigation and instead blamed the rise in risk aversion on a number of factors, including “complex causes, a lack of information about how the law works, and on occasion, a lack of common sense amongst those who implement health and safety”.
No-Win No-Fee Claims with Camps Solicitors
Merseyside based Camps Solicitors provides No-Win No-Fee legal services to non-fault accident victims across England and Wales. Our solicitors firmly believe that No-Win No-Fee provides the best way for people to claim compensation for something that was not their fault, especially if they could not otherwise afford to go to court. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, our solicitors will be able to advise you on whether you have the grounds to make a claim.
Call today on 0800 092 8586 to begin your claim or visit the Camps Solicitors website at www.camplaw.co.uk.
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