Don’t Be Afraid To Talk To A Solicitor
A recent survey by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed some surprising results about the reluctance of most of us to take advice when they have a legal problem. The results of the poll are staggering, being:
- 79% of individuals with a legal problem do not obtain professional help from regulated providers.
- 83% of small businesses with a legal problem do not obtain professional help from regulated providers
Reluctant to speak to a Solicitor
What is perhaps the most surprising aspect of these results is that the people questioned clearly knew they had a legal problem – but were nevertheless reluctant to speak to a Solicitor about it.
For my part, it is difficult to see any situation whereby a person with a legal problem should not speak to a Solicitor about it. By all means speak to a trusted family member or friend – but even then there is no reason why you should not telephone a Solicitor to run these discussions by them.
By way of example, most people know about the “3 years to claim”, but that does not apply to any contractual problem – where you have 6 years to take forward a Claim, or to any Breach of Trust Claim – where there is, in effect, no limitation date. It does not even apply to many Personal Injury Claims.
So if you were exposed to Asbestos 30 years ago, but are only now suffering from symptoms, then your Claim will still be within the “3 years to claim” period, even though the negligent exposure was 30 years ago.
Or if you had an operation 10 years ago but you have only now found out that the operation itself was done negligently – then again you have 3 years from now to take forward your Clinical Negligence Claim.
There are many instances whereby what a family member or friend has told you is correct – but at the same time it may only be half correct.
My advice to anyone who has a legal problem is simple – telephone a Solicitor. So long as you find a Solicitor who does either a free initial consultation (whereby you do not pay for the first half an hour) or, even better, offers a No Win No Fee service (whereby you do not pay at all) then there is absolutely no reason why anyone with a legal problem should not make that first telephone call about their potential Claim.
So to paraphrase a well known soft drinks company – what’s the worst that can happen? If you make that phone call then the worst that can happen is that you are reassured that you do not have a Claim – but at least you will know for certain. Indeed, the worst that can happen is that you have a Legal Claim but you do not talk to a Solicitor about it, therefore, you do not obtain the legal remedy that you are entitled to.
Richard Clegg, Senior Solicitor
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