- Our no win no fee terms and conditions in personal injury cases offer applies to potential personal injury claims in South Australia (including but not limited to WorkCover, CTP motor vehicle accidents, asbestos related diseases, product liability, medical malpractice and occupiers liability claims).
- Our offer to conduct a case for you on a no win no fee basis (pursuant to a conditional costs agreement) is subject to our approval in relation to the potential claim, this is generally based on its prospect of commercial success. For example, in South Australia an injured person in a motor vehicle accident has to establish the negligence of another driver or the claim will not succeed. Likewise, there are statutory restrictions on the amount an injured person can claim and their injuries may not be of sufficient severity to warrant bringing a claim given the costs involved.
- Accordingly, if your case is accepted by us on a no win no fee basis, it must satisfy the criteria/conditions that:-
(a) it has reasonable prospects of success in relation to liability;
(b) the likely amount of damages recoverable for your claim make it commercially viable to pursue in terms of the costs associated with prosecuting the claim as well as costs that are recoverable from the insurer or other parties (if any);
(c) the assessment as to whether your case has reasonable prospects and/or sufficient damages rests solely with Johnston Withers Lawyers and is completely at our discretion;
(d) you promptly sign and returns our Conditional Legal Costs Agreement and cooperate throughout the claim to ensure it is prosecuted diligently, including accepting our reasonable advice as to the management of the claim and considering any reasonable offers of settlement that are made by the defendants.
- The basic condition of the no win no fee arrangement is that we will only charge you our legal professional costs in accordance with our Conditional Legal Costs Agreement if there is a successful outcome in your matter. The definition of a ‘successful outcome’ is a settlement or award of damages in your favour. An award is when you take a matter to trial and obtain a judgement in your favour. A settlement of the matter is where the matter is settled by way of offer and acceptance for an amount prior to commencing a court action or a hearing.
- Sometimes an offer of settlement will be made to you that we believe should be accepted due to all of the relevant issues applying to your case. There can be adverse cost risks for a claimant if they proceed to a trial and are unsuccessful and this can create an unnecessary or disproportionate risk in rejecting an offer. If you do not wish to follow our advice in relation to an offer we reserve the right to seek an independent assessment of the offer from a suitably qualified South Australian barrister and the parties are obliged to follow this advice.
- In certain circumstances we can terminate our retainer, withdraw from acting on your behalf and refuse to continue with the case if we are made aware of evidence during the course of the matter which may change our opinion as to your prospects of success and/or our decision to continue with the matter on a no win no fee basis.
- If we cannot resolve your case by negotiations and you are unsuccessful at a court hearing, we will not charge you for your legal professional fees. As noted above, in certain circumstances, however you may be liable for the costs and disbursements of the other side. Specifically, if you run a case and lose, you could have the other sides costs awarded against you and this could be a considerable sum of money. If you have assets in your name or work in a job where you are earning a wage, the other side can enforce a judgment against you and sell up your assets and/or garnishee your wage to satisfy any judgment obtained. That is why it is critical to consider all offers to resolve your claim by settlement and only commence court action if your case has a more than reasonable prospect of success.
- Given the cost, time and risk of court actions, we will always do what is best for you as the client and discuss these matters with you fully before making any decisions.
Lean more about our Personal Injury team.