How to choose a personal injury lawyer
Posted on 8th January 2021 at 11:26
Top 10 tips
Check the credentials.
Unfortunately there are bogus firms around. If in doubt check the Law Society’s website. http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ If the firm is not listed, move on.
Look for a specialist solicitor.
Don’t believe everything you read. Just because someone claims they are a specialist doesn’t mean that they are. Check whether your solicitor is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel - a quality accreditation scheme administered by the Law Society of England and Wales – a true measure of a solicitor’s expertise in personal injury law.
Check that your solicitor is qualified
Some companies, solicitors’ firms included, will pass your claim to a non-qualified member of staff to deal with. You may prefer that your claim is handled by a qualified solicitor with the right level of training. Don’t be afraid to seek clarification direct or check out the firm’s website – it is your claim.
Ask about No Win No Fee
Don’t assume that because lawyers and claims companies advertise ‘no win, no fee’ that there will be no cost. The ‘fee’ refers only to the solicitors’ fees and may not include expenses, such as medical reports, barrister’s fees etc which you may be expected to pay. Ask whether there will be any costs or expenses to pay whether you win or lose.
Don’t sign anything unless the advice on costs is backed up in writing. Be clear about any extra or additional costs.
Agreement in writing
Resist any pressure to agree to anything over the telephone without confirmation in writing. We are aware of cases which have been submitted to insurers without the Claimant’s knowledge or consent.
Look for reviews or recommendations. Ask around. Have friends or family used the services of a personal injury solicitor. What was their experience?
Nobody wants to be kept in the dark. Your solicitor should advise you on the timescales involved in bringing a claim and how often he or she will update you on the progress of your case.
Although it is perfectly possible to conduct a personal injury claim without ever having to visit your solicitor’s office you may wish to meet with your solicitor personally at some stage. Ask where their office is located. Don’t be misled into thinking that they are local because they ‘serve’ your area or have a local telephone number. Check if they have free car parking facilities, disabled access and facilities at their office. Alternatively, do they provide home visits? All of these things can be important in choosing a solicitor if you have been badly injured in an accident.
Beware receiving cold-calls – seek independent advice
If you receive a call or text message inviting you to bring a claim it is very unlikely to have come from a solicitor as they are not permitted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to contact you in this way. The call may be from a claims company who are attempting to obtain your details to sell on. You will have little, if any, control over who will take your claim and you may also end up having money deducted from your compensation. If in doubt seek independent legal advice before committing yourself.
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