There is a big difference between personal injury solicitors and claims companies (also known as Claims Management Companies or CMCs). If you are seeking advice about making a compensation claim you should be aware of the difference.
What is the difference between a personal injury solicitor and a claims company?
There are many differences between Personal Injury Solicitors and Claims Companies. The main difference is legal qualification: personal injury solicitors are legally qualified; claims companies are not.
Personal Injury Solicitors:
- Train for 6 years before they are qualified
- Members of The Law Society
- Strictly regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
- Required to undertake ongoing professional training every year to ensure that they remain up to date
- Must hold a formal Practising Certificate from the Solicitors Regulation Authority: this gives the solicitor permission to act on behalf of clients after satisfying the Solicitors Regulation Authority that they are qualified and entitled to act.
- Must hold a minimum of £2 million professional indemnity insurance cover
- Are not allowed to ‘cold call’ or send spam claim text messages
- Must comply with regulations and a strict Code of Conduct and can be ‘struck off’ if they breach these
Claims Management Companies:
- Do not need to undergo any training or have any professional qualification
- Many CMCs do not employ any legally qualified staff at all
- Are not subject to the same strict rules of conduct and regulations as solicitors
- Are allowed to make cold calls and send claim text messages
- Often act as the ‘middle-man’ passing your details on to another company to deal with your claim
Legal advice after an accident
There is a lot to deal with after being involved in an accident: dealing with the immediate aftermath of an accident, coping with medical treatment and managing the pain, making arrangements about work and childcare, sorting vehicle repairs, and dealing with insurers.
If you have been injured, and particularly if you have lost money because of the accident, you are likely to need advice about your right to claim compensation.
Who to choose: personal injury solicitor or claim company?
Being involved in an accident is often a once in a lifetime experience. You may feel in the dark as to where to turn for advice. You may have previously used a solicitor in connection with, say, a house move, or to make a will, but, to obtain the best advice regarding your potential personal injury claim, you will need advice from a lawyer who is specialised in acting for accident victims.
Internet search for personal injury compensation advice:
A quick internet search will show hundreds of pages of personal injury firms offering their services. You might also have seen some firms advertising on the television. There seems to be a huge choice if you are looking for legal advice following an accident.
What you may not realise is that many of the firms offering their services are not actually solicitors at all. If they are not solicitors, what are they? The answer: a claims company.
How can I check if I am dealing with a firm of personal injury solicitors or a claims company?
All solicitors must include on their website confirmation that they are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and must include the firm’s SRA number. This allows you to check that the firm is actually a firm of personal injury solicitors rather than a claims management company.
Who should you trust with your personal injury claim?
Bringing a claim for compensation after an accident is a legal process. Doesn’t it make sense to choose to be represented by a professional who is legally qualified to act on your behalf? Someone who is part of a strictly regulated profession and subject to strict rules of professional conduct? Someone who is independent and obliged, above all else, to act in the very best interests of you, their client?
Doesn’t it make sense to use a qualified solicitor? Better still, a specialist personal injury solicitor who has years of experience in dealing with all types of compensation claims.
Personal Injury Solicitor or claims company? Which would you trust your claim to?
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