When you are involved in an accident and have been hurt, probably the furthest thing from your mind is who to appoint as your personal injury solicitor. Beware though, because hospital A&E departments and waiting rooms are favourite hunting ground for personal injury salespeople, so don’t get sucked into signing up with a company before you’ve found out all the key bits of information you need to know about them.
1. Have they got plenty of satisfied customers?
A good personal injury solicitor should have a bank of testimonials and references for you to see. They may even be able to put you in touch with one of their previous clients, giving you the opportunity to ask some relevant questions. Try to ask them if they felt they understood the process from start to finish, and whether they thought the solicitor worked hard enough for them. These are key questions to help you find out if this is the right solicitor for you to be working with and whether you will be able to relax throughout the claims process knowing that they are doing the best job possible for you.
2. How long have they been in business?
With the proliferation in personal injury claims today, many inexperienced solicitors have sprung up with personal injury firms who may not have the experience or knowledge to deal with your claim effectively. Personal injury law is a complicated process and the more experience your solicitor has of real life claim situations, the better.
Having said this, there may also be a newly qualified personal injury solicitor who will be emerging with a great knowledge of current laws and legislations, and who may well be talented and eager enough o really work hard and win you a good compensation figure. Don’t let their experience be the sole deciding factor, but do combine this knowledge with the other things you know about them to ensure you have found the right person.
3. How much will it cost you?
Most solicitors these days do not charge a fee up front, and you may hear the phrase ‘no win no fee’ which indicates that this is the case. Some companies, however, may ask you to pay into an insurance policy, which will cover the fees of the personal injury solicitor if you lose your case. Check if this is the case, and if so how much it will cost.
It is also important to ask how the personal injury solicitor intends to claim their fee if you do win. Some will claim their fees from the other side and will try to build this cost into the settlement figure requested from the at fault party.
4. Make your decision as soon as you can
Whilst you do have up to 3 years after the accident to make a claim, the sooner you choose a personal injury solicitor the better. The sooner a legal advisor is working for you, the better your chances of getting the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
You will have more time to work up your case, your injuries will be fresher and easier to assess and your solicitor will be highly motivated to do a great job for you.
Date Published: June 19, 2012
Author: David Brown