Making a claim for a personal injury is a relatively straightforward process, however there are some things you need to know before you go ahead. We’ve covered these things below:
- Lawyers are judged by their ‘success rate’ The ‘success rate’ is a percentage of the amount of cases an accident lawyer has won, and the higher the percentage the better. A percentage of over 80 per cent is considered excellent for a personal injury lawyer, while anything over 90 per cent is pretty much as good as it gets. To find out a lawyer’s success rate, all you should have to do is ask them – of course, lawyers can fabricate any success rate they like, however so long as they work for a reputable law firm, you can take their answer at face value and trust it.
- Accident lawyers tend to specialise in an area of personal injury law: If you call a large law firm and ask how they work, chances are they will tell you that they have specialist departments for different types of injury or accident. That’s why when you look for a law firm to represent you, the larger the law firm the better, since they will have a larger pool of lawyers for you to choose from. UK claims accident lawyers who specialise in your kind of accident or injury will be best-placed to offer legal advice. The advice you receive will be highly relevant to your case, to help you in the long-term.
- Lawyers, by law, must be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority: This is a very important point – in the United Kingdom, for a person to legally call themselves a lawyer and to be qualified to provide legal advice, they must be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and the law firm that they work for must be regulated by the SRA. You can find out if a solicitor is registered, by asking for the ‘SRA ID number’ or their ‘SRA roll number’. With this, you can check their details against the SRA database. This is the best way to ensure that the lawyer you speak to about your accident is legitimate.
- Conditional fee agreements / no win, no fee: ‘No win, no fee’ is a phrase used to describe a ‘conditional fee agreement’, an agreement which stipulates that should your claim lose, then you should not have to pay your own lawyer’s legal fees. These agreements are by far the most popular when it comes to injury claims. They were introduced into courts in England and Wales in 1995, through the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. The thing to look out for with these agreements is that by default, they do not offer protection from fees from the other side, should your claim be unsuccessful. For this, you may need to take out ‘after the event’ insurance.