2. Is Your Personal Injury Solicitor Taking Any Charges From You?
When you and your accident claim solicitor sign a Conditional Fee
Agreement (CFA) you want to make sure that in the agreement the
solicitor is going to claim for all of their fees and expenses from the
opponent and not from any accident compensation you receive.
If the solicitor gives you any problems here, don't hire them and
remind them of the Access to Justice Act which permits them to claim all
reasonable costs from the other party!
3. Out-Of-Pocket Expenses?
Most personal injury solicitors love to include a clause in the CFA
that you are going to be responsible for all out-of-pocket expenses.
Out-of-pocket expenses can include any medical treatment you receive at
the request of your accident compensation solicitor, any overtime
incurred by the solicitor's staff, telephone and fax charges, etc.
The solicitor should be responsible for these costs which should be
re-claimed from your opponent. However, be warned: the courts will only
allow you to claim 'reasonable' costs and only on the basis of you
winning your case.
4. Is The Accident Compensation Solicitor Aiming To Settle Or Go To
Sometimes, though not always, solicitors don't listen to the wishes
of their clients and instead go after what they believe the law entitles
their client to claim. As such, if you want to settle the claim, rather
than go to court, you should ask your accident claim solicitor whether
they have any objection to such.
Conversely, if you want to go to court, but your solicitor is
advising that you settle the claim, you should discuss this with them to
see if there are any adverse effects for taking your accident
compensation claim to court.
5. What Happens If You Lose?
Solicitors are expensive – so what happens if you lose? You need to
ask this question of your accident claim solicitor to see if he/she is
willing to insure your claim against the chances that you may lose.
Keep in mind that if you do lose it is not your personal injury
solicitor who is going to be reasonable for the fees and expenses that
have accrued to-date, but you! And you don't want to be the victim of
the same accident twice, so don't listen to any discussions about how
you cannot lose and make sure you have adequate protection should the
impossible actually happen!