Things are just not working out, and you want to finish the relationship. But you are worried about things turning messy.
No, we are not talking about your marriage or a business partnership. We mean your personal injury lawyer.
If you are unhappy with the service and/or advice you are receiving, can you make a complaint or even change your personal injury lawyer completely? Compensation can help with rehabilitation and rebuilding your life after a serious injury; you deserve the best legal representation.
Don’t be afraid to complain about your lawyer
Complaints are essentially feedback, and every professional should expect to receive this from paying clients.
However, research shows that many clients do not complain about their solicitor’s performance out of fear. Former Legal Ombudsman, Adam Sampson, told The Guardian in 2012 that many clients remained silent about bad service because they were intimidated by their solicitor and did not want to “look a fool” by making a fuss.
But if your solicitor is not responding to your calls, treating you with disrespect or giving you bad advice, you must speak up. And if the situation does not improve, you can change your personal injury solicitor, quickly and easy.
How to make a complaint
The Legal Ombudsman have raised concerns that consumers aren’t being informed of their right to complain about poor service from lawyers, and therefore could be missing out on their chance to put things right.
This discovery was made after looking at a sample of 3,680 complaints that it received last year. They found that just one in five of those affected specifically recalled hearing about the complaints scheme from their solicitor.
However, legal regulations make it clear that all law firms must ensure clients are aware of the complaint’s procedure.
The first step is to complain directly to the law firm managing your case using their complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with their response or remedy, contact the Legal Ombudsman.
The Legal Ombudsman
The Legal Ombudsman is a free, independent body. One of their functions is to resolve disputes between solicitors and clients.
After trying to resolve the matter informally, they will look at the facts of each case and way up the position of the client and the lawyer.
Typically, they will apply an interim decision based on their initial evaluation of the case, which both parties will be asked to agree to. If they cannot, the Legal Ombudsman will make a final decision based on what is fair and reasonable given all of the circumstances of the case.
Most lawyers run claims efficiently, meeting or exceeding client expectations. However, we are all human, and mistakes do happen. I you are unhappy with your personal injury solicitors work, can you change to another firm?
Clients are permitted to change solicitors at any time, even if the personal injury case has been running for some time. Common reasons to change solicitors include:
- they are not responding to your calls or emails
- they have been rude to you
- you no longer trust them
- you think they have stopped moving your case forward
- you disagree with their advice
Don’t worry about upsetting your current solicitor. If you do decide to change, whoever you instruct will take care of the details for you. They will contact your former lawyer and ask for the files to be transferred.
If you are unhappy with your lawyer, you are fully within your rights to make a complaint. A successful compensation award can have a significant impact on your recovery. It can also ensure that you and your family can pay the bills if you cannot work because of your injury.
If you are desperately unhappy with the service you are receiving, changing solicitors may be the best way forward. The same goes if you don’t agree with the advice you are receiving.
Everyone deserves excellent legal representation. If you don’t believe you are getting it, you have the power to make a change.
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.