Claims Management Companies (CMCs) are organisations that are simply there to advertise for your claim, they would then take your details and possibly also some details of your claim and try and sell these details on to firms of solicitors who would then represent you in that claim. They are not solicitors and are unlikely to employ legally qualified people such as solicitors. Until recently they were not regulated at all and could use any technique to try and hook you in. They are now regulated but this is only very recent and the regulations are untested. Unlike solicitors who are heavily regulated and have an abundance of duties to act in your best interests.
It is often difficult to tell whether a CMC is a CMC or a firm of solicitors, particularly as many solicitors do not have the name solicitors in their name or on their web page. In the small print on the web site at the bottom all solicitors must have a notice that they are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If this is not there then it is likely to be a CMC.
You do not have to use a CMC in order to pursue your claim, whatever you might have been told over the telephone! Why not cut out the middle man and instruct a solicitor yourself. It is not difficult or scary and whilst legal aid might be hard to come by these days with this government’s cuts and tinkering with the justice system solicitors have to explain how they intend charging you for their services and virtually all solicitors representing claimants in personal injury claims will do so on a no win no fee basis.
Plenty of solicitors have websites such as ours where you can make an enquiry via an online form or simply send an email. I would be happy to give some preliminary advice on the merits of a potential claim for free in the hope that you might then wish to instruct me to represent you.
Apart from another level of form filling and question asking that the unnecessary CMCs bring to the claims process it may be some months before they find a buyer for your claim and this is simply time wasted. Sometimes there are time limits such as the 3 year time limit to issue legal proceedings from the date or your accident or injury and missing these time limits are likely to mean you lose your chance to claim. You do not want your “claim details” languishing in a CMCs database whilst they try and negotiate the best price. Even when they manage to sell your details on they don’t have any say in how the claim is handled and I doubt they care once it has gone from their books.
YOU as claimant have the right and freedom to choose which solicitor represents you and whatever the CMCs say they cannot force you to be placed with a solicitor of their choosing.
I am a senior solicitor, and I work with another senior solicitor running Sentinels Solicitors Ltd. (we don’t have lots of non-qualified people doing a solicitor’s job we do the work and run the practice including me doing my own blogging!). We are a friendly bunch and happy to give some straight forward advice in a telephone call or email to help you decide how and what to do with your claim.
If there is NOTHING HAPPENING with your claim you should be able to withdraw it from the CMC and instruct a solicitor or your choosing.
ITS YOUR CLAIM NOT THEIRS – TAKE CONTROL NOW AND INSTRUCT A SOLICITOR.