Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

Seeking legal redress for a personal injury you have suffered can be a traumatic experience. Choosing the right firm to handle your case can go a long way to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Although many personal injury lawyers specialise in a particular area such as road traffic incidents, occupational or medical negligence etc. it is common for a wide variety of personal injury areas to be collectively handled by a single firm – certainly in the case of the larger, more renowned ones.

A short while researching your options on the internet would likely prove to be time well spent. The Law Society maintains a database with a helpful search tool to aid you in finding a suitable lawyer. You can narrow your search by geographical area which can make it easy, for example, to search for personal injury solicitors in Milton Keynes.

You may also want to consider checking whether a personal injury lawyer you intend to instruct is accredited by a recognised body such as APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers). In addition, a simple internet search using Google or another popular search engine will not only reveal a multitude of personal injury lawyers but can also prove useful in searching for reviews of particular firms.

While some clients might feel inclined to opt for a local high street solicitor, many others choose to a firm which specialises in personal injury cases. Many of those firms advertise on TV and routinely handle all manner of personal injury related cases. It should be borne in mind that choosing a specialist personal injury lawyer may bring several advantages: not only will they be more conversant in all possible elements of your case but will be in a better position of choosing the best strategy and able to advise you at an earlier stage of the probable outcome.

One word of warning: be wary of firms who actively solicit your business through cold-calling or through door-to-door ‘sales’. While reputable firms of course advertise, personal injury firms who use invasive cold-calling techniques may not be trusted to have your best interests in mind.

Many – in fact most – firms handle personal injury type claims on a no-win no-fee basis – formally known as a conditional fee arrangement. On this basis, if your case succeeds, you recover the full value of the damages (compensation) you are awarded and do not have to pay your lawyer’s fees as they are recovered from the opposing side.

If your case is unsuccessful, however, as the claimant you are potentially liable for not only your own lawyer’s fees but also those of the opposing side plus expenses. In actual fact, though, this eventuality is managed by way of insurance. However, be sure to clarify the details concerning payment up front – if only for your own peace of mind.

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