How to Choose Your Solicitor
There can be at 50 or more companies advertising in a local phone directory all claiming to offer a specialist personal injury claims handling service.
And you cannot turn on the satellite television during daylight hours without being bombarded and pressurised to ring a helpline for instant compensation after hearing tales of a claimant was who unable to work for the rest of his life and was delighted to recover a few thousand pounds !!
The trouble is that very few of these helplines are solicitors, and even if it is a firm of solicitors, the solicitor may not be a competent specialist personal injury lawyer and even if he is, he may not be truly independent.
If you have been injured, (perhaps you are off work for a few days flicking through those channels on your satellite television, wondering whether you have a claim and who to contact), what do you do?
There is a very quick, very reliable and easy way to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here’s what you do:-
1. Ignore the recommended "panel solicitors" put forward by your insurance company
The chances are that they are on the panel because they have some links with the insurer and may even be part of the insurers' organisation. You will receive a service which could well involve hanging on the telephone and a service which requires significant form filling. You may never speak to the same person twice.
2. You should decline the offer of your opponent’s insurance company to “sort all that out for you”.
This is a recent development by liability insurers to prevent accident victims obtaining legal advice. It is known as third party capture. They will indeed most likely provide fast compensation, but it will be a fraction of what your claim could be worth in our experience.
3. Find a local solicitor who is a member of an accredited panel.
There are two such panels, the Law Society's Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme, and a separate panel administered by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
Accident Line is a scheme linked to the Law Society's Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme.
Whilst lack of accreditation does not amount to evidence of any lack of ability, panel membership does provide you with a safeguard that your solicitor knows what he or she is doing and has had proven experience in this area of law.
The contact details for the panels are:
• The Law Society for the Personal Injury Acreditation Scheme on 020 7245 1222 or type “Or you can click on this link http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosingandusing/findasolicitor.law
Alternatively, since we are Accident Line solicitors, you can simply contact us via email, a call-back request or our live chat service.
- Accident Line on 0800 19 29 39. Accident Line is the only personal injury solicitor referral scheme carrying the endorsement of the Law Society and offers solicitors both with personal injury accreditation scheme membership and who have a proven track record of winning no win no fee cases. For those with web access, the web address is http://www.accidentlinedirect.co.uk/Pages/Home.aspx for the home page, but if you wish to go straight to the "Find my Local Solicitor " page it is at this address http://www.accidentlinedirect.co.uk/Pages/injury-solicitors.aspx The Accident Line scheme is not widely publicised and is seldom seen in advertisements, yet it offers distinct and tangible benefits especially if you are considering using the no win no fee system to fund your case. It offers:-
♦ Personal injury panel membership automatically
♦ Advice on all methods of funding, not just no win no fee
♦ A free first interview with a specialist lawyer
♦ Maximum levels of compensation through a greater in depth knowledge of this area of law
♦ Compulsory annual training for solicitors in personal injury law in order to keep up to date
♦ An effective complaints service. It is backed by an ethical insurance service offering £100,000 of costs cover should the claim fail
- The Association of Personal Injury lawyers have an acreditation scheme of their own and can be contacted on 0870 609 1958. the link is http://www.apil.org.uk/