Compensation lawyers in Australia may be costly unless you have some kind of prior arrangement for the fees. To make legal help affordable, many compensation lawyers can offer you a No-Win-No-Fee cost agreement.
For this, however, you should know how your lawyer will be charging costs for their legal services. You should know how much they will charge and when you’ll have to pay up those costs. If you sign such an agreement without understanding how it works and the terms to your agreement, the legal help may end up costing you more in the end.
Why Do your Lawyers Offer No-Win-No-Fee?
An ethical lawyer offers no-win-no-fee (NWNF) agreements because of a client’s lack of finances and because they believe that there is a high possibility to win the case.
A No Win No Fee agreement is essentially a conditional cost agreement (CCA). It’s an understanding and written agreement between you and your lawyer. There is mutual agreement that any legal costs or disbursements will not be paid unless a preceding condition is met.
This condition is often times the success of a compensation claim. The definition for this may vary but it should generally entail winning over the money for your case from the settlement, or a claim for compensation is successfully determined.
How do lawyers Charge
You have to be very careful with no-win-no-fee agreements, referred to as CCA, and see how the lawyers will charge you for their services. Some lawyers charge hourly rates while others charge an agreed-upon lump sum amount, before the claim commences.
Assuming you win the case and receive your compensation, it will include legal fee payment from the defendant insurance company. This amount is variable but is normally around 67% of your total legal costs, including some disbursements. All of this depends on your claim type, however. You can get help on no-win-no-fee agreements from lawadvice.com.au, if you need it.
The hourly charged rates by lawyers may be deceiving and you need to be careful as it may end up costing you more when you win. There is no way to determine how many hours will be spent in the claim. Plus, the hourly costs go up into the hundreds.
Your lawyers might not even be able to give you an estimate. Even if they do, the actual amount may differ drastically. An hourly rate may not be the best way to go about it because it may end up being unfair to you, the client. The lawyer makes more money the longer the claim takes and it might be unethical on their part if they know that it will.
Therefore, you should try and agree to a lump sum amount for the fee when in a no-win-no-fee agreement. A lump sum amount shows that the lawyer has the best interests of the client in mind.
You are not required to pay legal fees to lawyers till your claim is successful. However, you will be required to pay the defendant’s legal costs if your claim is unsuccessful. And you still have to pay for disbursements for your own lawyer, depending on your agreement.
In claims, you should always consider the fact that you will have to pay the other side’s legal costs, if you’re unsuccessful.