COVID-19: despite current events, we're open and ready to help. Stay safe!

I agree for National Accident Helpline to contact me.

CLOSE

Speak to us now on 0800 376 0150 or request a call back

I agree for National Accident Helpline to contact me.

We protect you from no win no fee hidden costs

If you're thinking about making a personal injury claim, you might be worried that you'll be left out-of-pocket if your claim is unsuccessful, or that most of your compensation will be taken up by solicitors' fees.

We do everything we can to avoid you being hit financially because of your claim. Recovering from an injury can be expensive, and we know how important it is for you to get support to cover the costs.

You don't deserve to be left under financial pressure, especially after you've suffered a painful injury which wasn't your fault. That's why we have measures in place to protect you from no win no fee hidden costs and charges, so there won't be any more surprises along the way.

You can speak to us for free, impartial advice on   or fill in our secure online form. We'll be happy to answer your questions and can help you understand whether you could make a claim.

Did you know?

In 2019-2020, there were 829,252 no win no fee claims registered with the government. That's an average of 2,271 claims registered every day of the year.

Source: Compensation Recovery Unit (Department for Work and Pensions),  2020

What is a no win no fee personal injury claim?

Let's begin at the beginning. No win no fee personal injury claims were introduced in 1995 to give people universal, easy and fast access to legal help following an accident injury or illness caused by someone else. In 2013 the legislation changed requiring successful claimants to pay a proportion of the costs involved.

Now let's assume you've unfortunately been injured in an accident or have developed a preventable illness clearly caused by someone else's negligent action or inaction. UK personal injury law entitles you to make a no win no fee compensation claim against that person or organisation if your injury or illness typically occurred within the last three years.

Your solicitor will check your eligibility to make the claim. Assuming you've got strong grounds to do so, you want to proceed and the solicitor is willing to take your case (they usually are), they'll then look after things for you. 

What happens next?

After investigating what happened, they'll then notify the other side's insurance company that they're making a claim on your behalf. For instance, your solicitor will make:

  • A road traffic injury claim against the motor insurance company of the person you hold responsible for the accident. 
  • An accident at work injury claim against the employers' liability insurance provider used by the firm for whom you work.
  • A slip, trip or fall injury claim against the public liability insurance company of the council, business or landlord responsible for the upkeep of the place your accident happened.
  • A public healthcare medical negligence claim against the specialist insurer of the NHS (an organisation called NHS Resolution).
  • A private healthcare medical negligence claim against the specialist insurer of the medical professional (or professionals) you hold responsible.

The other side's insurers will investigate the claim and then either accept liability or deny it. They may also contest liability and counter-claim that you were partially to blame too. Whatever the other side's response, this is the point where your solicitor begins negotiating a settlement on your behalf.

Negotiating your claim

Claims where the other side's insurers deny or contest liability can go to a court hearing before a judge - but this is very rare. 

The overwhelming majority of claims are agreed through negotiation and without needing court proceedings. After all, a common sense and fair outcome, particularly for you, is in everybody's best interests.

Finally, the claim is decided. If you lose your claim, pay nothing to anyone.

If it succeeds, your solicitor will deduct certain no win no fee charges from the compensation you receive as payment for winning your claim. When you think about it, this is actually no different to paying for any other satisfactory service you might have needed from another type of professional. You will naturally keep a significant majority of the damages awarded to you. 

We'll break down the no win no fee charges clearly by chunks in the information that follows. If you'd like to find out more about the different stages of a claim and what they mean, please visit our claims process page.


What are the no win no fee charges and costs in a claim?

Compensation claims are funded using a no win no fee arrangement, also known as a conditional fee agreement. It's the contract between you and your personal injury lawyer.

If you lose your claim and followed all your solicitor's instructions, there's nothing to pay. It's as simple as that. If your claim succeeds then you'll typically pay a ‘success fee' which compensates the solicitor for the risk they take because if your claim is unsuccessful, they won't be paid at all. 

What else is included in a no win no fee costs agreement?

There are normally other deductions too. The other side is only required to make a contribution to your legal fees if your claim succeeds. They'll typically pay most of them, but not all.

  • This means you also usually pay your solicitor the outstanding balance of any costs and expenses not recovered from the other side.
  • This figure may include things like court fees, the cost of medical reports and the cost of legal protection insurance (if you needed it). 
  • Your solicitor will receive the compensation settlement. They will only deduct the total success fee, costs and expenses figure from the total when they've received the payment. 
  • You receive the rest and this will always be a significant proportion of the compensation. 

We guarantee there are no upfront costs or hidden no win no fee charges. The approved solicitor we connect you with will discuss this with you at the start, so you'll know what to expect should your claim succeed. 

How much do no win no fee solicitors charge?

A common misconception is that no win no fee solicitors just deduct a 25% success fee from compensation awards. Typically, a solicitor will usually deduct the success fee plus the balancing costs and expenses figures we talked about above. Ministry of Justice rules for no win no fee charges cap the solicitor's success fee at a legal maximum of 25% of the compensation awarded.

Solicitors typically also deduct the balance of costs and expenses not paid by the other side. This may include the costs of legal protection insurance if you needed it (see below sections for details).

We think it's right to be absolutely clear about the practical reality of no win no fee charges from the start. All the solicitors we work with share this view because they too want to give you the best service possible that has no unexpected surprises at the end.

Rest assured, our solicitors will always talk you through the no win no fee charges at the start, based on the unique circumstances of the claim. We believe in making sure you can always make informed decisions based on absolute transparency.

One last thing to remember: if any organisation you talk to about making a no win no fee claim asks for payment of any kind upfront, then always walk away. 


Are there other ways to fund my claim?

The vast majority of accident compensation claims are funded using a no win no fee agreement with legal protection insurance set up by your solicitor. But there are variations to this:

Trades Unions: some union membership packages include legal protection insurance. Talk to your rep if you're a member of one and they'll be happy to check for you. If you have cover, your solicitor will then check that the policy offers appropriate protection for a no win no fee compensation claim as not all do. 

If it does, your solicitor will use it instead. And if your claim is successful, there won't be a premium to pay at the end - so you'll keep more of your compensation. The Trades Union Congress(TUC) has useful information about claiming on its website. 

Legal Aid: if you're claiming for a serious neurological birth injurysuffered by a baby during pregnancy or within eight weeks of birth, then you'll qualify for Legal Aid and it will pay all legal fees and costs.

Your own legal protection insurance: it often comes as part of home and motor insurance policies - or as credit cardholder benefit. It's worth checking whether you or a member of your household has this type of cover. 

If you do have it, tell your solicitor and give them the insurer's name and policy number. They'll then check to see if it has appropriate protection for a no win no fee compensation claim. 

Not all do, but if it does, your solicitor will use that policy instead. If your compensation claim succeeds, there won't be an insurance premium to pay at the end. That means your compensation figure will be that little bit bigger.

Your solicitor will explain things carefully and in detail before starting work on your claim.


Do I have to pay anything if my claim is unsuccessful?

There aren't any no win no fee charges if your claim fails - so it's a clear ‘no'. All claims must have the appropriate legal protection insurance in place that we mentioned in the sections above. If your claim isn't successful, the insurance means you won't have to pay any solicitor's fees or any other legal costs or expenses. 

All our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis. When you start your claim, your solicitor will take out the insurance protection on your behalf if you don't already have a policy. (The insurance industry calls this type of policy ‘After The Event insurance').

If your claim is unsuccessful, you pay nothing and the policy will pay the other side's costs. If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will deduct the insurance premium from your compensation.


What are the time limits for no win no fee claims?

To qualify for a no win no fee personal injury compensation claim, you must have been injured within the last three years. The accident must also have been wholly or partially the fault of someone else.

  • If you were 18 or over when the injury occurred, you have three years to make a personal injury claim from the accident date. 
  • If you were under 18 at the time and no claim was made, you have three years from your 18th until your 21st birthday to claim.

There are certain circumstances where you may have longer. For example, if you or a loved one has suffered a serious head or brain  trauma that impairs psychological function. 

If you've got any questions about making a no win no fee compensation claim, contact us for free and impartial advice on . We'll listen to what you've been through and let you know if we think you could make a no win no fee claim.

It's important to add that we'll never rush or pressure you. We're here to give you impartial and free no win no fee compensation advice so you can decide what to do next. If you're eligible and decide to proceed with the claim, we'll put you through to one our specialist accident solicitors. Usually we can usually do this on the same call if that suits you.


Frequently asked questions...


The final cost can vary depending on how complicated the claim is. However, if your claim succeeds, expect to pay your solicitor a success fee for winning the claim of up to 25% of the compensation you receive. This will likely happen in most cases. Also expect to pay the balance of any costs and expenses not recovered from the other side, plus the legal protection insurance premium (if you needed it).

Your solicitor will explain the specifics to you when they know all the details of your claim. They'll deduct these items only after they've received your compensation. You get the rest, which will always be a significant proportion of the payment.   

The good news is that it's not you! All no win no fee claims must have an appropriate legal protection insurance policy in place before they can go ahead. This policy will pay the other side's legal fees, costs and expenses if your claim fails. You pay nothing, to anyone, if the claim doesn't succeed.

Compensation is always paid by the other side's insurance company. In a road traffic accident injury claim, this will be their motor insurance company. For an injury at work, it will be employers' liability insurer used by the firm you work for. For accidents in a public place it will be the public liability insurer of the council, business or landlord deemed legally responsible for your accident injury. This ensures no-one is hit with an unaffordable bill.

Our advice is never accept an early settlement offer from an insurance company without taking legal advice. The amount may well be lower than that to which you're entitled. 

We'll check your eligibility to claim and then pair you with one of our approved solicitors if you choose to proceed.

What's typically covered in a no win no fee claim?

Your solicitor will consider all aspects of how your accident injury has affected your life and your family. 

The circumstances of each compensation claim are unique, as are the amounts they settle for. How much you could be awarded in a successful claim depends on injury type, severity, recovery time and the financial effect on your life. 

Our no win no fee solicitors will seek to recover compensation for any and all negative impacts your injuries have had on you. They include:

  • Loss of earnings through time off work.
  • Any future loss of earnings and the effects on your job prospects.
  • Any changes in your ability to work.
  • Care or support you've received, even if it was given voluntarily by family or friends.
  • Any changes you may have had to make to your home or vehicle.
  • Any travel costs you've incurred, for instance attending treatment.
  • The cost of any specialist treatment prescribed to you.

We always treat each case on an individual basis. This means when you contact us you'll always speak to somebody who listens carefully and offers tailored advice.

It also means that the amount of compensation you may be owed depends on your particular situation. This means we can't give you an accurate figure

before your solicitor has investigated it. However, you'll get a clear idea when your solicitor has valued your claim and has started negotiating with the other side's insurance company. 

However, we ‘ve got over 26 years' experience helping people make no win no fee compensation claims so why not try our compensation calculator? Answer a few simple online questions and it will give you a rough estimate about what to expect in a successful claim for your type of injury.


How do I start my no win no fee claim?

There are two ways to start your claim with us. Either call us on   or fill in our simple online form to request a call back.

We understand that making a claim can seem stressful, which is why we aim to make the claims process  as simple as possible.

Once you get in contact with us, you'll speak to one of our legally trained advisors. They'll ask you some questions about what happened to you and will then be able to let you know whether they think you've eligible to make a claim. 

If we think you do have grounds for a claim and you give us your permission to continue, then we'll select a specialist solicitor for you and put you in touch with them.

Your solicitor will discuss your claim with you and advise you on the next steps. Our solicitors will help you to make your claim on a no win no fee basis, and will keep you fully informed throughout the process.


When you're looking for a personal injury company to help you make your claim, you might be worried about the credibility of the solicitors you'll work with. With us, you're in safe hands.

We work with a national panel of personal injury solicitors who we carefully choose based on specialisms - this means you'll get the legal representation you need for the best chance of making a successful claim.

As well as working on a no win no fee basis, our solicitors will also protect you from upfront costs and no win no fee hidden charges. Our no win no fee charges guarantee means you won't have to pay anything before starting your claim. They'll also let you know what their likely solicitor's success fee will be.

To find out whether you could claim, or for advice and answers to your questions, contact us free on to talk to one of our friendly, legally-trained advisors.


Is National Accident Helpline a claims management company?

No, were not. National Accident Helpline is an independent personal injury advice brand belonging to the Kettering-based legal practice National Accident Law. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the independent professional standards and ethics organisation that licences all solicitors in England and Wales. Our SRA registration number is 655606.

Claims management companies - called a CMC for short - are regulated by a different body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A CMC does not have its own law firm. We process personal injury claims as part of National Accident Law. We also work with a nationwide network of personal injury law firms who we select carefully and monitor closely to maintain the highest customer service standards.