How to Pay for Your Industrial Disease Claim

Funding an Industrial Disease Claim

If you believe that your industrial disease claim meets the required criteria for establishing negligence on the part of your employer, you will need to consider how to take your claim forward. If you are to be successful, you will need to employ a firm of solicitors to handle your case, as well as any medical experts and barristers they may consider necessary. Adequate funding is therefore a vital part of any legal action. The first thing to ensure is that any initial contact you have with potential legal representatives is free. Most firms will offer an initial interview and investigation into your claim without charge, but make sure that this is the case before agreeing to start any investigatory process.

No Win, No Fee Agreements

Unless you are personally wealthy and very confident of success in your industrial disease claim, you are likely to enter into some kind of ‘no win, no fee’ agreement with the solicitors you choose. Legal aid has been unavailable for the vast majority of personal injury cases since 2000, and as a result so-called conditional fee agreements have become the standard way of affording the process of making a claim. However, it is absolutely vital that you take your time in reading through any agreement which is provided to you, and that you ask any questions up front. Do not simply sign the papers without fully understanding the fee protection you are being offered.

This is particularly important due to the reforms to ‘no win, no fee’ agreements which are currently being pursued by the Government. Ministers are proposing that all personal injury claims should be subject to a provision which will force successful claimants to pay at least some of their own legal costs from the compensation which they receive. At the time of writing, industrial disease claims have been exempted from the major changes to these agreements by a vote of the House of Lords, but it is still unclear if the Government will ultimately accept this outcome. Even if ‘no win, no fee’ agreements remain intact, many solicitors will not include fees such as the costs of medical experts and barristers within the agreement protection.

Legal Expenses Insurance

In the likely event that you will be left with some potential fees to pay if you are unsuccessful in your claim, you will need to investigate legal expenses insurance before proceeding. Fortunately, many people already possess some form of legal insurance without even being aware of it. Whilst specific coverage for industrial claims will not be included within most traditional home insurance packages, any trade union or professional association membership you possess may well leave you covered. In fact, it is well worth contacting any such organisation of which you are a member for impartial advice on funding and representation. If you don’t already possess insurance, you should investigate ‘after the event’ legal costs coverage, to ensure that you aren’t left seriously out of pocket if the worst happens.

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