It’s important to find a personal injury solicitor that will fight for your rights if you’re involved in a road traffic accident, so beware disreputable firms.
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: you end up needing to make a personal injury claim after a particularly nasty road traffic accident, but for one reason or another you end up not working with a qualified whiplash claim solicitor but instead in the clutches of a disreputable claims management company that is much more interested in racking up as many legal fees as possible than it is with actually representing your interests in a personal injury compensation claim. However, there are ways to avoid such an ignominious fate if you are indeed in need of legal advice.
learn the difference
Claims management companies are often mistaken for law firms because these companies will quite often present themselves in as professional an outward manner as possible; it’s a deliberate choice designed to lull prospective customers into a false sense of security. However, while claims management firms may like to pass themselves off as law firms in at least outward appearance, these firms could not be farther from a law office.
Claims management firms focus not on actually providing legal representation but on quite literally ‘managing’ your claim by acting as an intermediary between you and a personal injury lawyer. This means that they are taking down all your personal details and then referring your case to a law firm that they are affiliated with, often for a fee to be paid to the claims management company by the law firm in question – and sometimes even after charging customers ‘administrative fees’ for the privilege as well!
never pay up front
If you’re unsure if you’re dealing with a legitimate legal firm or if you’re being yanked around by a claims management company, there is one sure-fire way to know, and that’s if you’re presented with a bill for their services. While it’s not completely unheard of for law firms to bill legal fees to their clients, in the case of personal injury law the majority of law firms operate on a conditional ‘no win no fee’ basis, which means that your lawyer will make your injury claim without asking you to pay for anything up front; however claims management companies, in their greed, will almost never engage in such a conditional fee arrangement.
This distinction simply cannot be stressed enough when it comes with weeding out claims management companies that may be more interested in making as much money off of you as they possibly can than they are in representing your legal interests and ensuring justice is carried out. This is not to say that personal injury solicitors don’t get paid – they do, and quite well – but their compensation is almost exclusively earned after a successful accident claim, never before, so you can learn the difference straightaway.
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Image: Ambulance Chaser by Andreanna Moya Photography