Why instruct a local personal injury solicitor?

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Who are BL Claims Solicitors

BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

We are rated as one of the top firms in the UK and believe in speaking to our clients in jargon-free language and ensuring you're speaking to a highly qualified lawyer right from the outset

When someone has been injured in an accident, whether at work, play, on the roads or otherwise, there is almost always a quantifiable financial loss over and above the pain and suffering caused by the injury itself in terms of the ability to carry on with day to day life. But when the injury suffered is not your fault, why should you suffer the financial consequences?

In such circumstances, save for medical treatment, one of the first questions you may ask is "What do I do now?" You may be contacted by insurers offering you a compensation payment before you have had an opportunity to properly consider what to do.  But how do you know if the amount offered adequately compensates you for your loss?  What if you have yet to fully recover and have no idea whether your injury will be permanent?  However, you may feel that you have no alternative but to accept, particularly if money is tight and you are off work as a result in your injury.

In the circumstances, many turn to the advice of solicitors.  We may respond to television advertising, something on the internet,  a referral by your insurer or recommendation of a friend.

You may have noticed that these advertisements changed recently.  This is because the world of personal injury has undergone huge changes post 1 April 2013 due to Government reforms, and more changes are afoot.  These changes will directly affect you and it is becoming increasingly important that you receive expert advice about the options available to you.

We believe that instructing a local solicitor brings huge benefits to our clients, particularly in these changing times.  We can meet with you and discuss your personal circumstances and see for ourselves the problems that you are facing.  If required, we may be able to visit you at home, something that can be a little difficult to arrange if your solicitor is some distance from you. 

We can explain the recent changes to personal injury law and you will have an opportunity to query anything that you do not understand. This does not mean that telephone contact alone is insufficient, but we all like to know who we are dealing with and many clients feel more comfortable when they are able to "put a face to a name", so to speak, raising queries that they may not do so over the telephone.  They are also likely to feel more comfortable with future telephone contact, having already met their lawyer.

From our perspective, meeting with a client provides an opportunity to form a relationship right from day one.  Our client is more likely to feel able to discuss their claim in detail and removes the risk of misinterpretation.

Furthermore, a local lawyer will have local knowledge.  They may know of the proposed Defendant and be aware of any previous claims against them.  They will also know the local area and be able to consider issues specific to that area.  It helps to understand the environment in which you suffered your accident and subsequent injury.

Following an initial meeting, a proposed client will know whether they feel confident with the lawyer who will deal with their claim and whether or not they empathise with the predicament in which they find themselves.

There is no doubt that litigation is stressful.  In addition to the physical and financial stresses that you now have to deal with, it is important for your lawyer to lessen the litigation stress as much as possible.  By instructing a local solicitor you may not feel so isolated.  A face to face meeting can dispel so many concerns.  Human interface in this ever increasing technical age can never, in my opinion, be replaced.

The issue of legal expenses insurance: Do I have freedom to choose my own solicitor?

In short, yes.

Many household policies these days have legal expenses insurances attached to them; you may not even be aware of this as often it is a free "add on" to your policy.  Such policies employ panel solicitors, on fixed rates, to provide legal advice under the terms of the policy.

It will almost certainly be argued by your insurers that you must use their panel solicitors, but recent case law has confirmed that this is not necessarily the case.  You can choose to instruct whichever firm of solicitors you wish, whether they are on the insurer's panel or not.

Brown Quinn and Anor v Equity Syndicate Management Limited and AnorCA (2012) is the case that I refer to above and confirmed that injured people with legal expenses insurance are free to instruct the solicitor of their choice.  They do not have to agree to the instruction of a panel solicitor.  However, their legal expenses insurer can limit the hourly rate payable for which they are liable to the insured, but will have to show that freedom of choice is not rendered meaningless in so doing.

For further detail on our article.

If you or anyone you know has been injured in an accident through no fault of your own and, in particular, if you are local to any of our offices please contact us for initial, no obligation, free advice. We look forward to seeing you and to building a relationship whereby we become your solicitor of choice.

BL Claims Solicitors are here to help

If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at info@blclaims.co.uk