Changes to the Legal Aid system mean that it is no longer possible to receive Legal Aid funding for personal injury cases and this means that if you suffer an industrial illness or work related injury then you will not be able to receive Legal Aid assistance to pay for court costs or legal fees. The changes have come under considerable scrutiny from many quarters and for various reasons – while the changes are supposed to cut down on the number of fraudulent and false claims, they may also prevent genuine claims from being filed.
Legal Aid has been cut for many types of court case, including personal injury cases. If a case is successful then the winning claimant should have most of the costs paid for by the losing party. However, they will not pay solicitor fees and this leaves considerable doubt in the minds of many injured parties.
Solicitors offering a no-win-no-fee service offer obvious appeal in these instances. The solicitor will take a success fee if they win the case but losing the case still means that there may be considerable financial penalties. It may be necessary to pay for the legal costs of the successful party and these can mount up quickly.
There are a variety of payment options and formats that are usually made available to the claimant. Solicitors may charge per hour or offer a no win no fee service. They should also provide some kind of indication regarding the likelihood of success so that the claimant can determine whether it is worth progressing. However, this doesn’t alter the fact that many people with a genuine case to claim compensation from employers will be forced to reconsider for fear of losing money on a lost case.
Workplace accidents and injuries can prove devastating. They can lead to considerable time off work as well as requiring considerable medical treatment. This is what compensation is meant to cover but the fear of not being able to afford legal costs means that many people will be forced to forego necessary treatment and they may return to work too early and exacerbate their illness or injury.
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