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What is no win no fee and how does it work?

A no win no feearrangement is often known as a conditional fee agreement. It's the contract between you and your no win no fee personal injury lawyer.

If you winthe claim, you'll be asked to pay any costs and expenses, not paid for by the other side, from your compensation. This is likely to happen in most cases, as the other side is only required to make a contribution to your legal fees.

These costs may include:

  • A success fee” which compensates the solicitor for the risk they take, that if your claim is unsuccessful they won't be paid at all.
  • Any other legal costs or expenses not recovered from the other side, such as the costs of any legal expense insurance.

These costs will only be deducted when your compensation is paid, and there are no upfront costs or hidden charges.

Your solicitor will discuss this with you at the start, so you'll know what to expect when your claim settles.

If you don't win your no win no fee claim, you pay nothing to anyone. It's as simple as that.

At the start of the claim, your no win no fee solicitor may need to take out a special legal protection insurance policy for you. It pays the costs if your claim were to fail and ensures claiming is risk free. Insurance must always be in place just in case that happens. 

They'll do this if you don't have an existing legal protection policy that has appropriate cover. This type of legal cover sometimes comes with your home or motor insurance or as a credit card benefit. It's a simple thing to check and your no win no fee solicitor will do so when they start work on your claim.

Because you pay nothing if you lose your case,no win no fee arrangements take all the risk out ofmaking an accident claim. Importantly, it means you get fair access to justice if you've been hurt in an accident that wasn't your fault.

Making a compensation claim on no win no fee terms is subject to your solicitor: 

  • Agreeing to handle your no win no fee claim in the first place.
  • Ensuring appropriate legal protection insurance is in place. This means you have nothing to pay if the claim fails.
  • Judging that your claim always has good chances of success - that is, always 50% or higher.

You will need to make sure you stick to the terms of the insurance at all times. 

Sometimes no win no fee terms won't be possible, but this is rare. If that's the case, your solicitor will tell you immediately and explain your options about what to do next.

Come and talk to us for free, impartial advice

Find out if you may be eligible to make a no win no fee accident claim. Alternatively you can begin your claim online now using our quick and easy claim form. Read on to find out more about our no win no fee personal injury lawyers. You'll be in the safest hands when you make an accident compensation claim with us.

A no win no fee compensation claim means you'll never be out of pocket. If your claim is unsuccessful, you pay nothing.

What is "No win no fee"?

A no win no fee compensation claim means you'll never be out of pocket. If your claim is unsuccessful, you pay nothing.

Frequently asked questions...


All of our solicitors can help you to make your claim on a no win no fee basis, which means that if you don't win, you don't pay. 

But if your case is successful, you'll pay a fee to your solicitor as a percentage of the amount you receive. This percentage will have been agreed before starting your claim.

If your solicitor wins your case, they'll deduct a success fee from your compensation. They'll also deduct any legal costs not paid by the other side from your compensation.

Your solicitor will agree the success fee percentage when they take on your case so everything's clear. 

You may also need to pay a legal protection insurance premium if cover was needed. There are no up-front costs, so you'll never be left out-of-pocket if you make a claim.

Don't worry, there's absolutely no financial risk, if things don't go as you hoped. ‘No win no fee' means exactly that. Your solicitor will confirm that if your case fails, you don't pay a penny. 

They'll also explain about their fees, if you win. It's clear, it's simple, it's fair.

The final amount of compensation you receive in a successful no win no fee claim varies. That's because it depends on the circumstances and the severity of your injury.

Your solicitor will negotiate with the other party and agree a fair compensation amount on your behalf.

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What happens when I make a claim?

First, you won't be alone. Over the years we've lent a helping hand to over two million people who've been hurt in accidents which were not their fault.

Contact us first for independent, friendly and free advice. We'll let you know whether you may be eligible to make a no win no fee compensation claim. If you are and decide to pursue it, we'll pair you with one of our specialist no win no fee lawyers. We're usually able to do this on the same call if you choose.

Your lawyer will check the details of your claim and let you know immediately if they can handle it. They'll also talk you through the funding options. These will include the no win no fee terms and how much you'll pay from your compensation if the claim succeeds.

Once they've begun your claim, they'll gather all the evidence so they can build the strongest case for you. This will include an independent medical assessment.

When they've got all the evidence, they'll submit your claim to the other side (the defendant). This is the person or organisation that you believe is to blame for your injury. If they accept liability, the solicitor will negotiate and then agree the compensation payment with the other side's insurers.


How is compensation defined?

  • General damages is the amount paid for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (that's the impact on your ability to do things). 
  • Special damages covers any financial losses you may have experienced as a direct result of your injury. It includes things like lost earnings, paid-for treatment, care or travel expenses.

If the other side denies liability or cannot agree on a compensation figure, your solicitor will then issue court proceedings. They will keep negotiating with the other side: out of court settlements are reached in the vast majority of claims. 

Don't worry if your claim does go to a hearing in front of a judge. Your solicitor will take care of everything for you.


How long might my claim take?

That depends on the circumstances of your claim, the severity of your injury and whether or not the other side admits, disputes or denies liability. Your solicitor will be able to give you a time estimate based on the unique circumstances of your claim. A useful yardstick is the more complex the claim, the longer it will take to settle. For instance, a complex claim for medical negligence could take a couple of years or more to conclude.

If your solicitor wins your claim, you'll pay them an agreed amount from your compensation. If the claim fails, you pay nothing to anyone.


What are the time limits for making a no win no fee claim?

With a few exceptions, adults have three years from the date of the injury to make a personal injury compensation claim. The exceptions are: 

  • For claims involving things like occupational illness or medical negligence, the three-year limit applies from the date when the symptoms were first noticed. 
  • For children aged under 18 years when the accident happened, you can make a claim for them any time up to their 18th birthday. After they reach 18, the time limit expires three years later on their 21st birthday. 
  • There are no time limits for making a claim if the injury victim lacks the mental capacity to do it themselves. This could be as a direct result of the injury they've suffered or a pre-existing medical condition.

Are there other ways to fund my claim?

The overwhelming majority of accident compensation claims are funded using a no win no fee agreement. There are variations, however, such as:  

  • Your Trades Union: some membership packages include legal protection insurance. Talk to your union rep if you're a member - they'll be able to check for you. If you have cover, your solicitor will then check that the policy offers the right protection for a no win no fee compensation claim (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. For more information, visit the TUC web page. 
  • Legal Aid: if the claim is for a serious neurological birth injury suffered by an infant during pregnancy or within eight weeks of birth, then Legal Aid may pay legal fees and costs.
  • Your own legal protection insurance: these policies often come bundled with home and/or motor insurance - or as a benefit with a credit card. It's worth checking whether you or a member of your household has such a policy. 

If you do have one, tell your solicitor and give them the insurer's name and policy number. They'll then check to see if it has the right protection for a no win no fee compensation claim. Not all do - but if it does, your solicitor will use it. If your compensation claim wins, there won't be an insurance premium to pay at the end. That means your settlement will be that little bit bigger.


Why make a no win no fee claim with us?

We know it can sometimes be hard to know who to talk to about your compensation claim. You may worry about getting a sympathetic hearing. Or feel anxious that contacting somebody will mean you're pressured or rushed into starting a claim.

When you contact us, you do so in your own way, in your own time. Whether that's by calling, requesting a call back or chatting to us online, we'll never pressure you into starting a claim. And we'll never share your data without your permission.

We're simply here to listen to you and offer free and impartial advice. We have more than 25 years' experience lending a helping hand to people hurt in accidents that weren't their fault.

Starting your no win no fee claim with us also means:

  • Free, impartial and jargon-free advice before you decide to claim.
  • No stress over picking the right no win no feee accident solicitor, we do that for you. We hold all of our solicitors to high standards of service.
  • No upfront or unexpected costs and nothing to pay if your claim is unsuccessful.
  • No risk of paying the other side's costs.

If you're undecided or are simply looking for some advice, then contact us. We can talk through your situation and any concerns you might have in a free, friendly and confidential environment. Call us on to speak to one of our specialist legally-trained advisors today.


We've been providing no win no fee personal injury services, help and support for over 25 years. And in that time, we've helped more people injured in accidents than anyone else. We've helped many thousands of people, just like you, make successful claims.

You may be wondering how we can help - or whether your accident type is covered by a no win no fee agreement. The best way to be sure is to contact us on for a free, impartial chat.

It's likely we can help you if you've been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault. Such accidents include:


We take great care to select solicitors with the right skills and great service.

What is National Accident Helpine?

We take great care to select solicitors with the right skills and great service.

The first step is to find out whether you can make a no win no fee claim. You can easily do this by getting in contact with us - on the phone or online.

We'll talk to you about your accident and give you tailored advice based on your experience.

If you decide you'd like to go ahead with your claim, we can put your forward to a specialist no win no fee solicitor who has experience working with cases like yours.

Your chat will be free and your solicitor will talk to you about your accident in further detail. They'll then guide you through the process of making a no win no fee claim.

If you'd like to discuss the claims process with us, you can contact us for free on .


More customer stories

Can I change solicitors during a claim if I'm unhappy with the service?

If you have reasonable grounds for doing so, then yes you can. Our advice would always be to raise any concerns you may have with your solicitor first. If you can't resolve things to your satisfaction, then seek a second opinion from another law firm.


We carefully monitor the service standards of all the solicitors we work with to help ensure this doesn't happen.


Are there exceptions to making a no win no fee claim?

There are rare cases where our solicitors will be unable to handle a claim on a no win no fee basis.

If we're unable to start your claim using no win no fee, your solicitor will make this clear before you begin anything. You can then make an informed decision whether you want to continue with your claim.

Don't worry about any upfront costs in such cases. We'll make you aware of any fees you could be liable for before you commit to beginning your case.


Find out how we can help you claim compensation, let us call you back


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where you can speak with us in complete confidence at your earliest convenience.

No win no fee personal injury claims were introduced to the UK in 1995. They were set up to help people like you seek justice following an accident that wasn't your fault. Importantly, the system was designed to remove all the worries about upfront costs and expensive legal fees.

Before April 2013, the losing side's insurers usually paid all of the legal costs involved. This meant that if you made the successful claim then, you'd keep all of the compensation awarded to you.

The government made important changes to the no win no fee system in England and Wales in 2013 for improved regulation called the Jackson Reforms. Solicitors can still offer a no win no fee service to those who are trying to access compensation following an accident. There are no upfront charges and no hidden costs.

About no win no fee compensation

Compensation amounts - and what your no win no fee lawyer will deduct - will differ for everybody. If you go ahead with your claim, your solicitor will agree with you in advance the proportion of your compensation they'll need to cover their fees. They'll keep you posted as to the likely settlement amount as the case progresses.

Our no win no fee injury lawyers always aim to get you the most compensation possible. In fact, we hold our solicitors to high standards of service, which means they'll keep you in the picture throughout your case. There won't be any surprises or unforeseen expenses. At the earliest possible moment, your solicitor will let you know how much your compensation could be.

And remember with no win no fee, if you don't win your case, you won't pay a penny.For more handy information about personal injury claims and no win no fee, check out The Law Society web page.



Adam Nabozny

Adam is managing director at National Accident Law, one of our specialist no win no fee solicitors...

Being able to bring a no win no fee compensation claim gives everyone fair access to the law if you've been hurt in an accident that wasn't your fault.

You only pay us from your compensation if we win your claim and you pay nothing if the claim fails.

With no upfront costs and no hidden charges, making a claim is the risk-free way to get the compensation you deserve.

Adam Nabozny

Managing Director - National Accident Law
Teusday

We were able to help Teusday with a no win no fee claim when she was injured in a fall at a hotel. Here's her story…

I called National Accident Helpline to see if I could do anything about it. I had no idea what to expect. I was at home and off work.

The person I spoke to absolutely understood the impact it had on my life. They put me through to the experts. It's been a long road to recovery …and I'm glad I called them.

Teusday

More customer stories
Lee Lucas

For most of us, the times we use a solicitor are usually few and far between. Maybe to help with property, making a will, other family affairs or business-related things.

No surprise then that people can feel a little daunted by the uncertainties of an injury compensation claim at a time they're already feeling low - and perhaps in a lot of pain. A friendly ear with good, clear advice in plain English about their accident and no win no fee claims really puts our customers at ease.

It's our job is to give each customer the knowledge and space to make the decision that's right for them.

Lee Lucas

Head of Operations at National Accident Helpline