After a road traffic accident your insurance company may refer you to one of their “panel” solicitors firm but you are under no obligation to use them and are free to appoint a firm of your choice. You may see TV adverts encouraging you to use a claims company if you are entitled to compensation, but most of these companies will lack the knowledge and experience of a solicitors’ firm. In this article we will outline why choosing a local solicitor could be a better option for you.
After an accident you may see an advertisement for a claims management company (CMC) or a claims assessor. Crucially, though, not all claims management companies will employ solicitors, which means that if your claim goes to court they will be unable to represent you. At this point you may need to hire a legal representative, which will result in additional costs. A solicitor, however, will be able to represent you, as well as offer the relevant legal advice and support during a court process.
Lawyers with local knowledge of the area where your accident occurred can be extremely valuable. They will have a familiarity with the location and surrounding roads that a national firm will not and may have handled cases with accidents in the same spot. Qualified solicitors will also have the advantage of a wealth of legal knowledge and access to various other legal resources if necessary. You may well be disadvantaged if you are not able to access the full and comprehensive legal expertise that a solicitor can provide.
Victims of road traffic accidents may be initially attracted to CMCs because they often advertise that they work on a no win, no fee basis, but law firms will also offer clients a no win, no fee arrangement (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement).
A further reason to use local personal injury lawyers instead of a national claims firm is that their lawyers may be specialised in one particular area of road traffic personal injury. Macks Solicitors in Middlesbrough, for example, have lawyers who specialise in all types of road traffic accidents, as well as motorcycle and cycle accident claims, and can help you claim compensation for both minor and serious injuries as well as damage to your vehicle.
Ultimately, you want reputable local solicitors you can trust to represent you so that your claim is successful. Qualified solicitors are bound by codes of practice and the consumer charter while handling your claim, so you know they are obliged to ensure the best possible outcome. Additionally, solicitors are insured so that if they act negligently you will be compensated – there is no equivalent with CMCs and claims assessors.
You should consider choosing a solicitor with a good reputation or who family and friends have used and been satisfied with the outcome. The majority of new clients at Macks Solicitors have been personally recommended to us from satisfied clients. Macks Solicitors in Middlesbrough specialise in personal injury claims and can represent you if you have been involved in a road traffic accident and believe you may have a claim. You can contact us on 0800 980 9390, or call in to one of our offices in Middlesbrough, Darlington and Redcar.