You’re hiring the solicitor, not the other way round.
So you shouldn’t sit in their office, listen to them talk for half an hour and then leave.
Instead, you should be scrutinising them – seeing if they are the best person to take your case.
Ask questions – and don’t be afraid to ask a question in case you sound stupid! Every single query is a valid one, so make the solicitor earn your business.
But what if you can’t think of any questions to ask?
If that’s you, don’t worry. You can use some of the 14 questions below.
Any good solicitor should happily answer each one:
1. What are your legal qualifications and how long have you been practising?
2. Can you give me an example of a similar claim you have dealt with?
3. Who will be dealing with my claim? Will it just be you or will other people be involved?
4. Are they experienced, qualified solicitors? Can I meet them?
5. How often will you update me on the progress of my claim? Will it be by phone, email or letter?
6. How quickly do you respond to phone calls or emails? (Remember: the most common complaint made against solicitors is nothing to do with a lack of knowledge or expertise. It’s lack of communication
7. Will you use a barrister in my claim? When will they be instructed?
8. Do you personally review all documents relating to my case (including medical notes)?
9. Can I have a copy of my medical notes if I want one?
10. How exactly will my claim be funded? Can I apply for Legal Aid?
11. Who will pay for medical reports and other expenses during my claim?
12. Are there any financial risks to me if I take this claim? If so, what are they, how much are they and who could I end up owing money to?
13. Can I apply for an interim compensation payment?
14. After the claim ends, how long does it take to receive my compensation payment?
15. Are any deductions made to any compensation payments I am awarded? If so, who makes the deductions and how much will they be?
Remember though – there’s no need to be aggressive.
Just ask some of the above questions in an enquiring way. If a solicitor doesn’t like being questioned about any of those topics, it might be a cause for concern.
You’ll have enough on your plate during the personal injury claim process – you shouldn’t need to worry about your solicitor too.
You should be relaxed that your case is being handled by the right person. Someone who is happy to engage with you, answer questions and help you along the journey.
And above all, it should be someone you trust.