In some legal trouble, and worried about being able to afford legal help? This article might just provide you with an answer…
None of us will ever be sure that we won’t require legal help at one time or another. Whether it be for a medical negligence claim, debt recovery, divorce, or even just a conveyancing solicitor, there are reams of potential reasons for needing a solicitor’s aid.
Because of the surprise nature of many legal situations, you might not have the immediate means to be able to afford this help. So, how can you get the money together to protect yourself from going into a court battle alone?
From seeking no win no fee compensation from a lawyer, to finding other ways to rake together the funds, there are plenty of options. In this article, we’ll be breaking down six of these potential methods of raising the money for your legal help. Take a look…
1. Legal Aid
For those who are in immediate need of legal help, and cannot afford it, Legal Aid is a potential option. This is where your legal costs are paid for via the government, but you are only eligible under certain conditions. For example, if you’re seeking legal aid for child custody or to get a divorce, you must:
- Be using it to pay for mediation;
- Have experienced domestic abuse in the last five years;
- Be at risk of homelessness, potentially due to your ex-partner throwing you out of your home.
In other cases not related to family law, you might be eligible for a number of reasons. These could include if you’re being discriminated against, you’re taking the case to court under the Human Rights Act, or you’ve been accused of a crime and could go to jail. It simply depends on if the case is regarded as criminal or civil.
To get legal aid, you’ll firstly need to find a legal adviser or mediator, which you can do via the gov.uk website. Then, your legal adviser will check if you are eligible for it, and will apply for you if you are. If you qualify, then a legal aid contract will be drawn up and the legal aid will be paid directly to them.
At the end of the court case, if you keep or gain any money in the outcome, you’ll need to pay some legal aid back. This can be done either through a lump sum or £25 or more monthly instalments.
2. Getting Free Legal Advice
A number of solicitors sometimes offer free legal advice, otherwise known as pro bono work, for those who cannot afford legal services and don’t apply for Legal Aid. Lawyers do this on a voluntary basis, and there’s no obligation for a lawyer to do it. They’ll usually do so if they truly believe in getting justice in the case.
3. Seek Advice from Charities
If a solicitor isn’t available to help you on a pro bono basis, there are certain charities out there which provide initial legal advice on a variety of topics. LawWorks, for example, provides advice on social welfare topics, including housing matters, consumer disputes, employment law, and debts.
This is a great way for a person to gain a better understanding of their rights in order to see if it’d be worth forking out on a lawyer.
4. Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI)
You might already be covered to a certain extent if you have legal expenses insurance set up. Millions of people in the UK do, but might not be aware of this.
LEI covers a myriad of situations, including issues with employment law, personal injury or faulty goods and services. It’ll cover:
- Issues that started before you purchased the policy;
- Any legal costs you pay before your claim is accepted;
- Claims where the reasonable prospects of success are seen to be less than 51 percent likely.
Because of this, it might not be an option for you if you’re not already covered.
5. Consider a No Win No Fee Lawyer
A no win no fee lawyer might also be a good bet. The idea with this is that they will take your case under a legally binding contract, wherein if you don’t win, neither you nor your solicitor will receive any compensation. What’s more, you don’t have to pay your solicitor’s fee if this is the case.
However, if you do win, your solicitor will then receive a certain percentage of your compensation, as per the contract you have between you. In most cases, the “success fee” paid to the lawyer will be up to around 25 percent of the overall winnings.
6. Seek the Help of Family and Friends
If all else fails, why not consider leaning on those around you for support? Your friends and family are more than likely to want to help you with any upcoming legal issues. So, although it might be contentious subject, consider asking them for a loan, or even a gift, to help you out of this spot of trouble.
Ready to Seek Legal Help?
In this article, we’ve explained some of the best methods out there for securing legal help on a budget. Many of the options above require no money at all on your part, and those that do will only require money after your case has been won.
Clearly, there are potential options out there for you to get the help you need. Be sure to stay calm, and make use of the above avenues to get out of this spot of trouble. Good luck!
Ways to Afford Legal Help when you need it is a feature post