Accident claims have been around for many years, certainly they were being made in the 1800’s. It is a common misconception that they are an import from America, we started personal injury claims in the UK all on our own. Certainly in the early days of claims there were some very bizarre claims made, such as falling over croquet hoops, bites by fish and head injuries caused by boxes of bacon.
Personal injury is a legal term for injuries to the mind or body as opposed to an injury to property, and if this injury is caused by the fault or negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. This is the law in the UK, but it is surprising how more than half the faultless victims of accidents do not claim compensation from the guilty party.
For over 100 years, making a claim was not available to everyone. You could either claim legal aid if your income was low enough, or you could pay the litigation costs yourself if you were rich enough. But if you were somewhere in the middle of the two, there was no help for you in financing a personal injury compensation claim.
Then in 1998, the government abolished legal aid for injury claims, which left just the rich in a position to make them. This was soon realised and the 1999 Finance Act introduced the use of the conditional fee arrangement for Personal Injury claims. This system was already in use in the UK for some other civil cases, and now it became legal for injury claims, the possibility of making a claim became available to everyone, no matter how poor or rich they were.
The conditional fee arrangement
The conditional fee arrangement is better known as no win, no fee and is used in the majority of personal injury compensation claims, not just in the UK but worldwide. If you need to claim for accident in the uk, you will not have to pay the injury lawyers any money to start the work on your claim. If the claim should prove to be unsuccessful, you still do not have to pay them any money.
The victim is in a situation where they have nothing to lose by making a personal injury claim, but they could gain an awful lot. It is the lawyers that take all the financial risk and there is a train of thought that says this makes them work harder on the claims, because they are so aware that if they lose a claim, they will have done a lot of work for no fees. It also means they are less likely to take on claims that do not seem quite right, the dodgy claims that seem to be in the media so often. These are the claims that are most likely to be unsuccessful, and the claims it will be the hardest to find an injury lawyer willing to handle them.