How do I choose a solicitor?

If you want to consult a solicitor to claim compensation, you should get advice from one who sepcialises in personal injury cases. You can find specialist solicitors through:

  • the Comminity Legal Service;
  • the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL);
  • the Law Society;
  • a Citizens Advice Bureau or law centre;
  • your trade union, if you have one.

See 'further help' for how to contact these organisations.

If you have legal expenses insurance, your insurers may want to appoint a solicitor to handle your case. If you want to use another solicitor, ask them to speak to the insurance company.

What if I can't afford a solicitor?

Taking legal action can be expensive. You can no longer get public funding (legal aid) for most personal injury cases. The only cases you can get public funding for are injuries because of:

  • a medical accident;
  • deliberate harm, such as child abuse; and
  • an assault by the police.

However, if you can’t afford to pay legal fees, there is nearly always a way to get help with the costs, as follows.

Trade union help

If you are a member of a trade union or similar type of organisation, it may be able to help you with legal costs and finding a solicitor.

Legal expenses insurance

Check your credit card conditions and house contents and car insurance policies to see if they include legal expenses cover for the type of personal injury claim you want to bring. However, you may need to consult a solicitor to find out whether the cover offered will be enough for your case.

‘No-win, no-fee’ agreements

These agreements, officially called ‘conditional-fee agreements’, are now very common. They mean that you do not have to pay your solicitor’s fees if you lose your case. You will probably need to take out insurance (called ‘after-the-event’ insurance) to protect you against the possibility of having to pay the other side’s costs if you lose. Your solicitor can help you with this. For more information, see the Community Legal Service Direct leaflet 'No-win, no-fee actions'.

Law in your states
Basics of actions