Frequently Asked Questions

What is "No Win, No Fee"?

No win, No fee means that the firm will take the risk of running the claim on your behalf and will not seek to charge you professional fees until you have ‘won’ your claim. Each firm will have their own definition of what a “win” entails and for this reason it is important that you read your client agreement or engagement document very carefully to ensure that you fully understand when the firm will raise an invoice in your matter.

At Far North Injury Lawyers, we classify a “win” as when you have instructed us to accept an amount that finalises your claim, or, in litigated matters, where the Court makes an order in favour of the Plaintiff.

Other firms charge an "uplift", or other charges. What are these for?

In personal injuries law, where a law firm acts for you on a no win, no fee basis, they are allowed to charge an uplift fee of up to 25% on top of your professional fees. This was designed to compensate the firm for taking the risk of your matter as the firm does not get paid until the successful conclusion of your claim. Sometimes rather unfortunately, where there is no “win”, the firm does not get paid.

The uplift was originally designed to reflect the risk of the delay of payment or the complexity of the claim as firms still have overheads and expenses to pay during the course of your claim. Regrettably, some firms have adopted this uplift as standard practice which significantly increases the hourly rate you will pay. Some firms may include a further charge of “care and consideration” of up to 25%. Where firms include both, the hourly rate charged is significantly inflated and does not reflect the “base” rate outlined in their client agreement.

Far North Injury Lawyers will only charge an uplift where it is clear a matter is extremely complex, however in most cases, an uplift will not need to be applied. Your client agreement will outline whether we propose to charge an uplift fee. We do not charge additional “care and consideration” fees either.

Will you take half of my settlement?

No. Far North Injury Lawyers guarantee you the majority of your net settlement funds.

The legislation in Queensland provides that a firm who acts on a no win, no fee basis must not take more than half of the net settlement amount by way of their fees. That is, the settlement amount, less any statutory refunds, less expenses actually incurred by the firm (called disbursements). This is known as the “50/50 rule” or the “Law Society Cap”.

Far North Injury Lawyers have reduced this limit, and will only charge you a maximum of 40% of your net settlement amount rather than the 50% adopted by many other firms. As our fees are lower and we don’t charge an uplift or other additional fees, it would be a rare circumstance for the cap to be in play, and this is why we can guarantee you the majority of your net settlement funds, not just half.

Why are you cheaper than other firms? What's the catch?

There is no catch. We are a small, locally owned and operated firm without the big firm overheads, and without the pressures of big firm targets. This means that we will only charge you for the work that we do. Our staff are not under pressure to meet billing or other time recording targets.

Our Principal Solicitor has more than 15 years experience working within personal injuries and therefore has developed the most cost effective and efficient processes for running claims. As we only have our own local office to support, we can genuinely offer reduced rates together with a personalised, individual service.

Who will I be dealing with?

Our office works as a team. Our philosophy is that no one person can do everything. Therefore, you may speak with various members of our office, however your file will always be conducted and overseen by our Principal Lawyer who is happy to speak with you at any stage of your claim, or to allay any concerns that you may have.

How long will this take?

No one can answer that for certain. Every claim is different, no two claims are even similar. Even couples who have been in the same accident may have different outcomes when it comes to their claim progression. The length of time will also vary depending on when you first engage us to act on your behalf.

As a general rule, we like to wait about 12 months from the date of your injury before you are assessed by our medical specialists. This allows time for your injuries to heal and to ascertain the extent of your injuries and the impact on you. This is not a fast rule as sometimes people need more time to recover, and in other cases, recovery can be quicker.

How much will I get?

As with the length of time a claim can take, this is also not a question that can be answered easily. The “quantum” (or “value”) of your claim can fluctuate over time, depending on the nature of your injuries and the impact of the injuries on your day to day life and your ability to earn an income. Often we have clients tell us that they know people who were awarded large amounts of money for their claims and they will compare themselves to their friends. This is not possible as all claims fall on their own facts.

If we don’t give you a figure of what your claim is worth early on, this is because we don’t have enough information or evidence to provide you with accurate advice. Be wary of lawyers who make financial outcome promises early on in a claims process, especially where there is little evidence to support their advice.

Do I have to have a lawyer?

No, you don’t, however lawyers do this work day in, day out. We often have built relationships with insurers or their solicitors, we know their inner workings and we know how to build your case.

An insurer’s job is to finalise your claim as cost effective as possible and in as quicker time frame as possible. It is extremely rare that an insurer will make a fair and reasonable settlement offer to an unrepresented claimant. It is usual that insurers significantly increase offers made to unrepresented claimants when a solicitor comes on board. Therefore, we urge you to contact us to discuss any offers made by insurance companies before you accept.

Far North Injury Lawyers are happy to look over your claim and the insurer’s offer on a free, no obligation basis to see if it is fair and reasonable. If it is, we will tell you, if it’s not, we will provide you with our advice.

We take the greatest of care to ensure that you are provided with timely and accurate advice and guidance when you need it the most.

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