Three Point Checklist for Hiring Personal Injury Lawyers
1. Personal Injury Lawyers – Areas of Expertise
Personal Injury Lawyers operate in a specific area of the law in the UK. They independently advise and represent clients from the beginning of the claims process through to the final verdict. There are various types of claim that fall under the remit of Personal Injury Lawyers. Some of these include:
- Road Traffic Accidents that result in bodily injuries e.g. whiplash
- Industrial Related Illnesses such as exposure to asbestos, chemical accidents and white finger caused by vibrations
- Accidents/Illnesses caused in the Workplace including Slips & Trips, RSI or those sustained “on-site” in the construction industry
- Accidents resulting in serious injury, such as back injuries
- Medical Negligence
In general, when an injury has been sustained as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence, then a Personal Injury Lawyer will be able to help qualify a claim.
2. How to Find an Injury Lawyer
When hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer it is important to ascertain that they have experience in the type of claim that is being pursued and are based locally.
There are a number of legal firms who specialise in the Personal Injury sector. Reputable firms who specialise in any given sector, who are also local to the claimant can be sourced from an injury claims specialist, or claims management company. These companies can quickly clarify the potential of the claim in terms of whether it meets lawful criteria and is thus worthy of pursuit. Many of these specialists operate on a ‘No Win No Fee’ or ‘Conditional Fee Arrangement’ basis. If for some reason a claim doesn’t fall under this criteria it can still potentially be pursued through other channels. ma personal injury attorney
An alternative to using a claims management company would be to independently research qualified and experienced lawyers in the claimant’s local area. This can be carried out on-line or by contacting other independent bodies for help and guidance such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.
3. Determining Eligibility of Claim
Many Personal Injury Lawyers can be hired under a ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement. This means that if the case is unsuccessful the lawyer will not charge the client for their fees. In addition, if the case is successful the claimant usually still receives 100% of the damages, as the lawyer’s fees are recovered from the other side. This process was set up to ensure open and fair access to the legal system in order to help reduce issues of social exclusion. There are certain criteria that must be met for the claim to be pursued on a no win no fee basis.
In general, a claim should be raised in a reasonably timely manner (less than three years) and the injury received should have been caused directly or indirectly by another party’s negligence.
The purpose of the claim is to compensate the client financially for the other party’s negligence. The lawyer can help determine current and future financial losses, incorporating: the type and extent of injuries received taking into account physical, mental and emotional harm; medical expenses; the impact on quality of life; and loss of earnings. This will result in a Schedule of Loss that summarises the above into absolute financial amounts and will be used during the claims process to gauge the value of the amount of compensation being pursued by the claimant.