What Do Personal Injury Solicitors Do For You?
Whilst many people have heard about personal injury solicitors, not many really actually know what they do – or more importantly, what they can do for you. This is why we’ve put this page together so you can get a better idea of what a personal injury solicitor is, what their role is, how they should act, and ultimately what a personal injury solicitor will do for you.
In its most simple form, if you have an accident that might result in you having to make a personal injury claim, then we advise that you enlist the services of a personal injury solicitor. A solicitor can help to navigate you through the legal mine-fields that will undoubtedly present themself whilst you are looking to make a claim. Most personal injury solicitors will work on a no win no fee* basis which means you, the client, will benefit from their expertise and services, and will only have to pay them money if and when you have a successfully won claim in your favour.
Believe it or not, over three million people in the UK are injured in accidents each year (Source: LawSociety.org.uk) and if the accident was not their fault, then they are legally permitted to seek some form of compensation. Personal injury law is very complex though, which is why personal injury solicitors are recommended in most cases.
What a Personal Injury Solicitor Will Need from You
If you do decide to make a claim and employ the services of a personal injury solicitor in London, then they will need to investigate the case with the full facts and as much information as possible. In order for them to make a proper case that has the best chance of winning you compensation then there are a number of items that you will be asked to supply, as follows;
- Details of the accident including the date, where it happened, and how it happened.
- If there were any witnesses then you will need to supply their contact details.
- Because you were injured you will need to explain the injury in detail. In particular what treatment you had and what the official medical diagnosis was.
- Sometimes members of trade unions are eligible for free or cheaper legal representation. Make your solicitor aware of any memberships you might have.
- Have you suffered financially because of the accident and injury? If you have then provide some proof of loss of earnings and any other financial expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
- If you are insured then supply these documents too. Simple household and motor car insurance documents can sometimes have some points in there which can help you to re-claim any legal costs.
What a Personal Injury Solicitor Will Do for You
Once the personal injury solicitor has assessed all of this information, then they will advise you as to whether they can proceed with a claim. Your solicitor will help you in preparing statements that get given to the insurance companies involved, they will then negotiate with the different parties and tell you what the best next steps are to take to make things best for you.
A good personal injury solicitor will sit you down and explain any risks that you might encounter when making an injury claim. One thing that you should be aware of is that if you end up losing the case then it is very likely that you will end up having to pay costs and legal fees of the opposing side. Make sure that your solicitor explains the risks and any potential issues so that you are well informed enough to decide whether you are taking the best course of action.
The Interview Process When Taking on a Personal Injury Claim
There should be an interview process at the beginning of your consultation. During the interview process with your solicitor they will dig into the details of the case as much as possible. This is so they have everything down to the last detail to help them with your claim. You have to be as honest as you can be, as failure to do so could result in you losing the case and paying costs to the opposing party. If you are not honest, and facts come to light that jeopardise the case then your personal injury solicitor will not be at fault. You have to give them the full and truthful facts from the outset.
Here is a check-list of personal injury solicitor responsibilities when taking on a new client after the interview and consultation period has happened;
- They will tell you if they believe the case is likely to succeed or not.
- They will tell you how much money you could be able to claim as compensation.
- They will go through the legal processes.
- They will tell you how you can fund the case and give you additional ideas.
Get the Legal Advice Confirmed in Plain English
Once the interview has happened, and you have chosen a personal injury solicitor then ask them to post or email you an official letter. This should be laid out so that it explains exactly what the advice they gave you was. A good solicitor will get this written up in plain English that can be understood by non-legal people. The letter or email should outline the following information;
- Confirmation from the legal firm that they are happy to take the case on and to represent you as a client.
- Give you contact details for the solicitor in the firm who will be handing your case. This is so you can get in touch with them when needed for updates.
- Details on how long the injury compensation case is likely to take, and how they will update you with progress along the way.
- Estimates on any costs if you are funding the case. You might be on a no win no fee* agreement as is quite common nowadays, in which case this won’t be necessary.
- Dates for when you will be required to pay the solicitor. Also dates when you will have to pay the defendant’s costs should you lose the case.
Of course, one of the main benefits to personal injury solicitors other than their legal expertise, is that is allows you the time to recover from your injuries. This means you don’t have the additional stress of trying to navigate the mine-field of a personal injury claim. You can let them do all the leg-work including contacting witnesses, collating additional evidence, and putting your claim through the legal process.
* Other costs could be payable