How are personal injury claims funded?
Many people who have accidents do not have the money ready for to pay legal costs to seek redress and obtain compensation. We are therefore able to act on your behalf under one of two schemes: Legal Expenses Insurance or Conditional Fee Agreement (commonly known as a no win-no fee agreement).
What is Legal Expenses Insurance?
Legal Expenses Insurance is a specialist type of insurance sold to cover the cost of obtaining legal advice with a view to bringing a court case against someone else or defending a legal action against you.
I hear there are two types of Legal Expenses Insurance?
Yes, there are two types of legal expenses insurance, which reflect the time in the legal action when the policy is taken out.
Before the Event legal expenses insurance is purchased by someone who is looking to insure their legal expenses in case an action has to be brought or defended in future. After the Event legal expenses insurance is purchased after the event for which the legal action is taking place has occurred and insures the person taking out the policy against being made to pay the other party’s costs.
What legal expenses are covered?
Legal Expenses Insurance is designed to cover legal expenses that arise as a result of bringing or defending a legal action. Examples of expenses typically covered are solicitor’s fees and their expenses (known as disbursements), expert witness fees, court fees and your opponent’s legal costs if you lose.
How does Legal Expenses Insurance work?
Legal Expenses Insurance usually requires you to have notified the insurer within six months of the incident for which you are seeking the insurance.
In most cases, your Legal Expenses Insurance will state that you must accept any reasonable offer from your opponent to settle the case, and your policy will be invalid if you refuse a reasonable settlement.
It is worth understanding the terms of your legal expenses insurance. Some policies will include a maximum limit for costs, above which you will be unable to recover further sums. We will discuss with you how this works in practice.
Will I be able to instruct Goodge Law to act on my behalf under my Legal Expenses Insurance policy?
Yes. It is your decision which solicitor you choose to represent you.
My Legal Expenses Insurer says that I can only choose my solicitor when I am about to commence legal proceedings. Is this correct?
Under The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 you have the freedom to choose which solicitor acts on your behalf at any stage of the proceedings. They cannot force you to choose one of their panel solicitors. It is your decision.
If you are having difficulties, please speak to us and we will write to your Legal Expenses Insurer and remind them of the appropriate legislation.
What if I am unhappy with my Legal Expenses Insurer?
If you have a complaint about legal expenses insurance you should in the first instance raise your issue with your insurer, but failing that you can contact the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567.