Choosing the right medical negligence solicitor for your case is an important, Medical negligence is a specialist area of law and you should bear in mind when instructing a Solicitor that they are familiar with the issues involved in pursuing a medical negligence claim.
Choose a reputable medical negligence company
The first step should be to do some research into reputable companies. If you know anyone in the same situation as you, ask them who represented them, if they were pleased with the service, and how they went around finding them – they may be full of useful information. Message boards on the internet can also be an excellent resource, although of course you will need to verify everything for yourself, and some specialist organisations may be able to recommend someone to you.
While the process of meeting and talking to potential solicitors is a very important one, there are a few accreditations that may help to weed out the timewasters before things go any further. One of these is Lexcel, the Law Society’s International Practice Standard, which ensures that the firm has proven to have consistently high standards in client care and case management.
Alternatively they made have the ISO9001:2008 standard, which means they’ve proven high standards in both case management and client care as well as meeting the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority’s regulatory requirements. This accreditation is assessed every six months, and you should ask for proof that they have passed the last assessment.
Make a list of five solicitors and arrange to talk with each of them, either in their offices or at your home. The initial interview should always be free, and you shouldn’t feel pressured into any kind of obligation; if you do, it’s time to try another. You should also feel as though you can ask them any questions about the process, or their experience, and they should be able to answer fully and in a way you understand.
Take along a pad and paper and make sure you take notes of any key points – it can seem like an overload of information at first and you will need something to look back over. Any good firm will be able to put you in touch with previous clients of theirs as references, and they will also be able to tell you how many similar cases they have dealt with and how many of them had a successful outcome. This can be especially useful when dealing with different solicitors with different areas of expertise.
While the experience and knowledge of the solicitor is incredibly important, it’s also vital to find someone with whom you’re comfortable. As you go through this emotional process, you need to be sure that the person you hire is treating you and your case with respect, and will try to make it as easy as possible for you. If things progress, you will need to stay in regular contact with your solicitor, so you should also ask how they intend to do that, whether by phone or in person.
Whichever solicitor you choose to go with should be knowledgeable, experienced and personally helpful, but if you do change your mind later on you can change solicitors at any point. If you receive funding from the Legal Aid Agency you may need their approval before progressing, but you should never feel trapped with a firm you aren’t completely happy with.