Sustaining an injury can have manifold repercussions. The obvious is the immediate pain you endure. Once an injury is seen to, victims can be overwhelmed with the stress of being out of work and the loss of earnings as a result. Naturally you want to go down the route that will remunerate you sufficiently, covering all the losses you might face.
Pursuing a personal injury claim can add to your stresses due to the time and red tape involved. However, if you have a good and competent solicitor a considerable burden can be lifted.
As with all professions, you come across people who are better than others and law is no exception.
Before you decide to enlist the services of a solicitor you must consider what your priorities are and ensure the solicitor is best equipped to meet them.
There are many solicitors who will take on your claim on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. This is a good way to know whether you have a good chance of winning your claim and obtaining the compensation you feel you deserve, as ‘no win no fee’ solicitors will generally not take on your claim if they don’t feel it can be successfully pursued.
This modus operandi also means that you do not lose out financially if you end up losing your claim, which is especially important in this tough economic climate.
A responsible solicitor will ensure you have a form of insurance in place to cover your expenses in the event that they do lose the case, such as court fees and the cost of obtaining medical reports.
They can arrange for what’s known as “After The Event” insurance and may explore if you have any Legal Protection Insurance in place as an alternative – sometimes this is available through car or household insurance policies.
From compensation to support: an all-encompassing service
The Law Society is encouraging victims of personal injury to use the service of a solicitor rather than insurers.
Going to the insurer is one way of getting your recompense following an accident. Early offers from insurers are known as “pre-medical” settlements. As common as they are for victims, they don’t take into account all expenses. In fact, awards can therefore be significantly less than what a solicitor can secure you.
Research from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – now the Financial Conduct authority (FCA) – shows that personal injury claimants who reject an insurer’s initial offer and take legal advice from a solicitor instead receive on average two to three times more compensation.
This is because a solicitor will ensure the sum of money you get fully takes into account the pain, suffering and incapacitation endured, making certain that you get all of the compensation that you are entitled to.
A medical report will serve as evidence to your claim, ensuring that you adequately compensated.
Solicitors often meet with people who have been sent pre-med offers and achieve settlements that exceed what was initially offered by using medical evidence.
The best quality solicitors are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and sympathetic and will always seek to secure the support and rehabilitation that you and your family members need following an accident.
Quantity plays a role in bespoke service
You must be able to trust your solicitor wholeheartedly and be able to rest assured that he/she is adept in working on your behalf, and has your best interests at heart.
When meeting with your solicitor, ensure that they fully understand the nature of your injury and the difficulties you face.
Make sure your solicitor specialises in personal injury work and has a wealth of experience and expertise relating to your claim, whether you are making a scooter accident claim or need advice regarding metal on metal hip replacements.
This is where quantity comes into play, as the best solicitor firms will have various members of staff with expertise in different areas to ensure you get service that is tailored and specific to your personal claim.
Don’t be afraid to ask about the history of success they have in personal injury claims, from minor to fatal accidents. The more success the company has behind it, the more you can trust that they will work in your best interests.
A credible law firm will be accredited by the Law Society or have membership of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
You don’t have to be on your own
During this time you want someone who will be there every step of the way and this isn’t limited to friends and family.
A solicitor will provide a client-focused service as well as ensuring you get the right level of money.
Make sure that your solicitor is friendly and fully empathises with your situation, dealing with your case in the utmost sensitivity.
This isn’t something that an insurer will provide as they’re solely driven by profits and numbers.
When searching for a solicitor you don’t have to compromise, whereas with an insurer you’re more likely to lose out due to a poor quality, profit-driven approach.
With a solicitor you’re getting the best of both worlds once you’ve found one that you feel comfortable with.
At the end of the day you’re the one with the injury and you want to ensure you get all you’re entitled to and a solicitor can be your expert guide throughout the process.