5 Things Before Making A Personal Injury Claim
Your Compensation Could Be At Risk
1. How much of your compensation are the solicitors going to take to cover their costs?
Some firms now take 40% of your compensation at the end. Most firms take 25% and have done since the Government introduced new rules in 2014 in relation to the amount of costs recoverable from the at fault party/their insurer. You have to weigh up how difficult your case is and what you are, essentially paying for (albeit not up front), and decide whether you think the deal offered is value for money.
2. Do they still use solicitors?
Most firms use less qualified employees. At PSR Solicitors we only use qualified experienced personal injury solicitors to run cases.
3. Will they try to make you purchase an insurance policy to cover their expenses?
Some charge for this and other hidden costs. We never ask clients to pay for insurance policies as we cover our own expenses which we can afford to do as we have a very high success rate in winning cases and the party at fault’s insurers are responsible for our expenses when we win. We have grown from our original office at Shotton, Deeside to have 4 offices across North Wales within 5 years.
4. Are they specialists?
Will they be able to win your case and ensure you get the deserved amount of compensation?
In the old days solicitors were, like many professionals, jacks of all trades. However this often meant that they were specialists at nothing. They dabbled in whatever came through their door, it could be conveyancing one minute, probate the next and maybe a whiplash claim later on in the week. Due to the number of complaints and negligence claims against solicitors who did not really know what they were doing, the Law Society and the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority have gradually nudged the profession into becoming specialists. You should therefore check what the individual solicitor allocated to your case specialises in. This has become more important in the personal injury industry field as so many changes have occurred over the last 5 or 6 years that a lot of older solicitors are not fully aware of how to run cases properly and successfully. It is very important that you choose a specialist the same as you would for any other area of your life. For example, would you want a GP performing your heart surgery?
5. Will your law firm still be in business within 12 months?
Over the last few years the Government have made numerous changes to the personal injury industry in an attempt to stem the so called compensation culture. Although there are no conclusive statistics to show that such a culture exists the Government have, at the seeming behest of the insurance industry, moved the goal posts for solicitors acting for injured clients on an annual basis.
First the Government introduced rules to fix legal costs followed by a new portal system through which car accident cases involving whiplash claims would be dealt with. Following on from this they introduced further reductions in costs to coincide with the ban on referral fees which the Government, perhaps correctly, believe were leading to a number fraudulent and exaggerated claims.
Some firms, such as PSR Solicitors, have adapted well to the changes and have grown steadily throughout this period of upheaval. Some other firms, including large ones such as GT Law in Liverpool and Minster Law in Yorkshire, have fallen by the wayside.
The Government is set to announce further changes to the personal injury sector in increasing the small claims limit and possibly banning whiplash claims and we are currently awaiting the results of consultation in this regard. Fixed costs are also due to be introduced into the areas of medical negligence and industrial deafness in October this year. All of these changes make it increasingly difficult for law firms to continue in business and it is predicted that over the next 12-24 months a large number of personal injury firms will disappear.
If you are looking to claim compensation for a personal injury and you want free advice from a fully qualified solicitor then please contact us now. Using one of our specialist solicitors ensures that you have a better chance of winning your claim and receiving all of the compensation and help that you are entitled to.
We have offices throughout North Wales and Cheshire and you can contact us safe in the knowledge that one of our expert solicitors will take care of everything for you on a No Win No Fee basis allowing you to carry on with your life whilst we proceed with your legal case.