If you have suffered a personal injury and want to claim compensation, how do you pick a personal injury solicitor? There are hundreds of PR solicitors in the UK and let’s face it – many of them claim to be the best.
Personal injuries can be life changing. Being able to sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’ when it comes to picking an excellent personal injury solicitor involves more than establishing whether they are good at law. You need to find a solicitor who will support you, has real empathy with your situation and will fight in your corner, no matter how large the defendant is, to get you the compensation you deserve.
Good personal injury solicitors possess many qualities. Here are the top five things you should look for when looking to instruct one to advise and represent you.
1. Are they on the Roll of Solicitors and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority?
There are sharks in every industry, including law. The legal industry is heavily regulated, with a robust framework in place to protect clients from the few less scrupulous members of the profession. It is a criminal offence for someone who is not on the Roll of Solicitors to call themselves a solicitor. The Solicitors Regulations Authority publishes a list of ‘bogus solicitors’. If you have been contacted by someone on this list, do not instruct them and report them to the Authority
2. Do they specialise in personal injury work?
Personal injury law is complex, and very often the defendant is a local public body or corporation. Therefore, this is not an area that good lawyers ‘dabble’ in from time to time. To get the best result, you should instruct a firm or an individual solicitor of a firm who only specialises in personal injury law. Not only will they understand the process of making a claim, but they will also have the negotiation skills required to reach an early settlement with the other side; crucial if you want to avoid going to court. In addition, years of experience in personal injury law means the solicitor will be up-to-date with changes in the sector and can quickly evaluate whether your claim has a chance of being successful
3. Do they care?
Events that lead to a personal injury are often traumatic, causing mental as well as physical pain and suffering. A good personal injury lawyer is experienced enough to understand this. When you meet with an outstanding personal injury lawyer, they will never treat you as merely a number on their books. If you have limited mobility, or the injury has occurred to a child, they will make the effort to visit you in the comfort of your own home. You should come away from the first meeting with a feeling that, although your solicitor is a consummate professional, they will invest a little of themselves personally, to ensure they achieve the best outcome for you
4. Are they available?
Nobody likes a disappearing lawyer. When so much is riding on the outcome of a case, your personal injury lawyer should provide you with comfort and confidence by making themselves reasonably available. This does not mean they should accept calls at midnight and have their day interrupted for a quick ‘chat’; however, an experienced solicitor understands it is important to keep you up-to-date with your matter and will do this without you having to prompt them. Other good signs include returning phone calls and emails within 24 hours and ensuring you are involved in any major decisions related to your case, such as the appointment of an expert witness.
5. Do they explain ‘no win, no fee’ and offer After The Event insurance?
Before you commit to instructing a personal injury lawyer to advise and represent you, ask yourself, “Do I fully understand the no win, no fee’ arrangement being offered”? Although you may not have to pay for the legal work on your case if you lose, will you have to pay for expenses (known as disbursements)? Has your solicitor explained what After The Event insurance is and arranged for you to take it out?
A professional solicitor will send you a clear engagement letter explaining their fee structure and the scope of their service, leaving no room for any confusion.
Instructing a good solicitor is vital when fighting for compensation following a personal injury. Look for these five qualities when evaluating whether the lawyer in front of you is the right one for you.
Free Claim Assessment
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have been injured and would like a free claim assessment so that you can understand your rights, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.