Personal Injury Solicitors: Do I Need One and How Do I Choose One?
Author: Rebecca Hodge
When making a claim for a personal injury, you may not think it’s necessary to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf and there’s certainly no legal requirement for you to do so. However, it’s important to remember that unless you understand personal injury litigation, you may find it difficult to navigate your way through the legal complexities of making a claim for compensation.
When thinking about whether to instruct a lawyer to act for you, you need to understand that a personal injury solicitor will know how the process works and put forward legal arguments to substantiate your claim in order for your case to be successful. Is this something you would be comfortable doing? If necessary, would you be prepared to go to Court and represent yourself in front of a judge and the other party? How would you feel if the other side has a solicitor to represent them; would you feel confident? Also, what would you do if the other side denies liability; how will you argue your case?
In terms of receiving compensation, would you understand what your injury might be worth in the eyes of the law? The amount of damages you could be awarded is calculated on a sliding scale depending on the severity of your injuries and a personal injury solicitor will be able to advise you of this after taking guidance from medical and rehabilitation specialists.
From here, they’ll negotiate with the other side to ensure you receive the maximum amount of damages for your injuries and any other losses directly related to your accident. If you were doing this yourself, how would you know what’s fair and reasonable and what you can and can’t claim for? As well as injuries there could be other expenses which may be recoverable, including loss of earnings, care and assistance, loss of enjoyment, damage to clothing or possessions or treatment costs for example. Would you be confident in calculating these losses to ensure you’re being fully compensated for your accident related expenses?
There are lots of things to think about when pursuing personal injury litigation, which is why it’s always recommended that you use a solicitor.
When choosing a solicitor to represent you it’s important to ensure you instruct one that’s specialises personal injury law, rather than a general practitioner and there are a number of ways to do this.
Find an accredited personal injury solicitor
Start by looking up personal injury solicitors which are accredited to industry bodies, such as the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers or the Law Society which has a facility to look up solicitors in your area. If you were involved in a road traffic accident, you can search for solicitors who deal with these particular types of injury on the Motor Accident Solicitors Society website.
Research your chosen personal injury solicitor
Once you’ve found a personal injury solicitor, read up about them. What areas of personal injury do they specialise in; how much experience do they have; have previous clients provided testimonialsfor them; are they members of specific industry associations or organisations?
Reviews and recommendations of personal injury solicitors
You can also read what clients have written about a personal injury solicitor on search engines such as Google, Bing or even Yell.com. Are there any videosof how they deal with compensation claims and are there clients who have recommended the firm? All of these factors will help you decide if it they’re the right solicitor for you.
Appointing a personal injury solicitor
Finally, you don’t need to instruct a solicitor that’s based near to you. The nature of personal injury is such that the process can be carried out by a solicitor on behalf of a client who lives at the other end of the country. This means that you have the whole of England and Wales to choose from to get the best legal representative for you.
If you’ve been involve d in a non-fault accident and you’d like to speak to a personal injury solicitor, call Russell & Russell and one of the team will talk through your circumstances and advise whether you can make a claim for compensation.