Personal Injury Solicitors
How to Find Personal Injury Solicitors
Personal injury solicitors donít come cheap, so deciding to take legal action tends to be a last resort for many who have suffered a personal injury. However if you feel you have exhausted all other avenues then it’s important to get a good solicitor.
The Law Society, your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Law Centre will have lists of local personal injury solicitors and are usually a good place to start. Personal recommendations are often better start and it’s worth talking to as many friends and acquaintances as possible to find out if they have any ideas or have used a solicitor themselves. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) might be able to give you some information although it mainly serves as a sort of trade-union for lawyers rather than the public.
Even if you’re in a hurry it’s best to be cautious about instructing a lawyer advertising on the television, radio or the Internet. Many of the firms advertising here are in fact ‘claims managers’ who take a commission for handing over your case to a solicitor. There are usually better ways to find someone and you'll want to meet them face-to-face to discuss your case.
The initial consultation may be free of charge and will allow you to outline your case and discuss liability and possible awards. Be prepared for rejection; many personal injury solicitors will not take a case if it falls beneath a certain risk threshold or if the injury is relatively minor.
You’ll want to get a good sense of your solicitor’s experience in personal injury cases and also a clear idea of how they will proceed in your case. It’s worth seeing a few different lawyers before deciding on one. Once you’ve decided who you think is the most suitable solicitor then you’ll have to work out how to fund your case. If you are covered by legal expense insurance or have personal resources then it’s simple but most claimants aren’t in this position.
The majority of personal injury cases in Britain today are funded by ‘conditional fee agreements’ (otherwise known as ‘no win no fee’). This means that you only pay your solicitor if the case is successful. If you win your case you will pay a proportion of your award to them (this is called the ‘success fee’). They will also be awarded their reasonable legal costs by the judge. If you lose you will still be liable for your opponent’s costs and fees so you will need to take out After the Event insurance to cover you. Your solicitor will advise you about this.