If you want to claim compensation as the result of an accident or injury, then what’s the best way to go about it? You will want someone reputable, reliable and experienced to handle your claim and work hard to get you best financial redress possible.
Using a solicitor under a no-win, no-fee system has been fairly standard for several years now. The concept was introduced to help reduce the financial cost of compensation claims on the taxpayer as a result of claimants using legal aid. It also aimed to widen access to legal help by encouraging more solicitors to take on claims.
No-win, no-fee means just what it says if your claim isn’t successful you won’t have to pay fees, so it removes the potential financial risk of losing your case.
What Is a Claims Management Company?
In recent times, however, a middleman has emerged. Known as Claims Management Companies (CMC), they are regarded as operating in a regulatory gap, meaning there is no professional body to oversee their work or the qualifications of their staff. This can mean that their employees have no legal qualifications despite the legal nature of the work. It has also been estimated that more than half of the CMCs in the UK employ fewer than three staff.
By comparison, a solicitor has undergone many years of study and training and is supported by fellow professionals. Their work is also regulated by the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Both bodies ensure levels of customer care are high and can deal with any complaints. With a CMC, however, there is no legal redress if their service falls short, or around their fee structure.
CMCs work by selling on cases to solicitors and providing credit loans and insurance to customers to cover the cost of a case failing. These often have higher than average premiums but encourage people to make a claim by eliminating the risk.
The CMC, meanwhile, makes money from charges and referral fees whether the claim is won or lost. Many have been severely criticised for using misleading sales techniques and pressuring consumers and they are considered to be unqualified to assess if no-win, no-fee is the most suitable way to claim in different situations.
The Best Way to Make a Compensation Claim
If you find yourself in a position where you need to make a claim for compensation, say as the result of a car accident, then the bottom line is that you simply don’t need to use a CMC. By far the best option is to go directly to an experienced no-win, no-fee solicitor.
You can be assured that a qualified and experienced professional who fully understands this area of law will work for you to achieve the best possible result. In the unlikely event that you don’t get the standard of service that you should rightly expect, then the regulatory bodies can step in and examine your complaint if you feel the solicitor’s practice hasn’t sorted it out to your satisfaction.
Remember that using a no-win, no-fee solicitor means you don’t have to pay out anything at any stage of the proceedings and if successful you will receive 100% of the compensation award, with no deductions. If the claim is lost there will still be no fees to pay.
Compare that to a CMC, some of which have upfront fees and will take a percentage of a successful claim, often up to a third of the compensation you have been awarded.
This guest post has been contributed by Zoe on behalf of Hughes Carlisle. To find out whether you can claim for personal injury, you can email the family law solicitors or write to them at the following address: 7500 Daresbury Park, Daresbury, WA4 4BS.