Accidents in the UK are a serious problem with annual figures in excess of one million. Accidents on the road represent over a quarter of the total accidents giving rise to tens of thousands of personal injury legal claims each year. Most of these claims arise from car accidents with the driver of goods vehicles being the least likely to be involved in a crash occupying just 3% of the statistics.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, that was someone else’s fault then you may be able to claim damages. With the advent of no win no fee arrangements and free legal advice it is now possible to make personal injury legal claims on a totally risk-free basis and still get full compensation. If your lawyer operates on this basis, then their legal costs will only be paid if they win the case and this payment will be made by the guilty party or their insurers.
For convenience lawyers divide compensation into ‘special’ and ‘general’ damages in personal injury legal claims. Special damages tend to be easy to work out such as loss of income, medical costs, damage to property or vehicles, insurance excess, special transport expenses, car hire, help with housework or other assistance and care. General damages are a little less obvious and must be fully or partially assessed and include the value of pain and suffering, loss of amenity, reduced employment prospects and certain other items of a more imponderable nature.
There are almost 10,000 law firms and sole practitioners in the UK with over 100,000 individual solicitors and 7,000 new lawyers qualify every year. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SAR) has specialist panels which recognize an individual’s expertise. One such grouping is the SRA Panel of Personal Injury Experts which has 13,000 accident solicitors representing well over 10% of all solicitors.
If you have been involved in an accident within the last three years that was not your fault you should contact a form of accident solicitors who have experience and expertise in personal injury claims, and ensure that in the aftermath of your accident, justice is obtained. Most accident claims are dealt with on a no win no fee basis and compensation is usually paid in full with no deductions. There should be no necessity to finance your claim in any respect and you should not be asked to take out any loan or pay for any insurance. Most no win no fee claims are completely risk free.
Specialist accident solicitrs can help victims make successful applications for compensation for car accidents, work related injuries, sport related injuries, slips and falls, product related injuries and occupational disease. Personal injury law is a highly technical, jargon-filled arena and in order to make a successful claim it is vital that you use an expert. To find a good compensation solicitor you must bear the following in mind: –
The type of claim
It is essential the solicitor you choose is an accident specialist. A personal injury claim lawyers track record should be addressed along with their experience. A specialist accident solicitor will be considerably more successful than a general practice lawyer.
Where to look
People use yellow pages and the internet most frequently to find specialist personal injury claim lawyers and the SRA has a public record of all members of their specialist panels including the Personal Injury Panel which can be used to confirm claimed specialty by any law firm or individual solicitor.
How to shortlist
When selecting personal injury claim lawyers, it is most beneficial to talk to them to see if they are what you want and need. Most will offer free initial assessments, giving you the scope to decide which solicitor will serve your case best. In these initial assessments you should ask about the solicitor’s experience and success rate in similar cases over their practicing careers. You should also enquire as to the payment basis they would prefer to work on. Not all solicitors who operate the no win no fee scheme pay compensation in full and some require the client to pay expenses as the case proceeds.
The final step
Having found a solicitor you should aim to provide them with all the information you have available which will put them in a stronger position to make a successful claim. Leave no stone unturned in your quest for evidence. Take photographs and write everything down into a statement. Provide full and accurate details of all parties involved and produce the name and address of any witnesses.