RD Costings Info
RD Costings Ltd - Criminal Injury Claims based in Portishead: Review
On the 1to1Legal network we review and recommend a wide range of firms. For some areas you may want a large firm with lots of resources. For others you may be better off with a Direct Access barrister to save some time and money. But there are a few areas of law where using a specialist firm is held up as the ideal.
For example most people will want a specialist for Criminal Defence or Motor Offence work. Commercial Law is another area where a niche firm is often sought rather than general practice. RD Costings came to our attention because they specialise in an area of law we've never seen any other firm do so before.
If you've already been through several law firm websites today, you'll probably have noticed that even personal injury focused lawyers tend to list Criminal Injury matters as more of a "yes, we do that as well" sort of case. It's not something most place high priority on getting. The focus is usually on Road Accidents, Work Injuries and Slip/Trips.
Criminal injury claims obviously require considerable tact in light of the types of cases brought. These can include Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Assaults, and even the death of a loved one at the hands of another person. The compensation settlements are also not purely based on lost wages or an individual injury such as you'd get with a whiplash claim after a car accident. They're also not against an insurance company but against a goverment organisation - the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Getting the right professional legal advice and related help such as from experienced counsellors can make a huge difference, not just to the amount you are awarded, but for mental recovery going forward as well. For example the solicitor you might choose to help with two weeks of a stiff neck after a car accident doesn't really have to be able to understand about mental anguish or post traumatic stress disorder.
The fact RD Costings specifically seek out these types of claimants to help with their case is not the only reason we decided to add them to the network.
This may look like a simple statement about fees. However this is actually a very impressive level of transparency which is seriously lacking amongst many other personal injury firms we've seen.
When you see firms stating "no win, no fee" across their site, that doesn't necessarily mean there are no fees at all. There is a big difference between a firm that says "no win, no fee" and "100% compensation guaranteed". They are not the same thing. No win, no fee just means that if your case loses you will not have to pay anything. There may still be fees if your case wins. 100% compensation guaranteed means there are no fees if your case wins.
Quite often a personal injuries practice will state no win, no fee and leave it at that. Then after you've had the initial interview, have gone all the way down to their office, and are ready to sign on the dotted line for them to proceed - that's when the small print comes out about them taking 25% of your compensation if they win. This may sound like a reasonable fee at first. (Your solicitor needs to get paid, right?) However your solicitor will typically already be recovering their fees and expenses from the third party. The 25% is sometimes more of a bonus. This is not true for all firms or all types of cases though.
In the whiplash claim example mentioned earlier - we would consider it quite unusual for a firm to take 25% of that compensation unless there were extremely difficult circumstances. A whiplash claim against an insurer where the third party has already admitted fault is pretty much a slam dunk. Something we would expect a personal injury lawyer on their first day to be able to push through without a hitch. (Yes, we have experience in this area. Two of our staff worked on such cases for years including CICA matters.)
But if firm took on a lot of less simple cases such as medical negligence, uninsured drivers, or criminal injury matters - then the 25% commission is often vital to them being able to operate properly. That's because the chances of success are much lower and they lose quite a bit of money trying to help people with very difficult and often failing cases against government organisations.
The short version of all this is simply that RD Costings' transparency about the 25% being declared on their website is a very good sign about the type of setup they run and ethos they hold. The site also states:
The "may" being in bold is how it's written on their site. RDCostings don't have 'Online Compensation Calculators' tempting you in with promises of £10,000 settlements for your paper cut. They don't promise you an ipad or a Sainsbury's voucher for making a claim with them. (Both genuine things we've seen.) Again, it's a small thing but indicates the type of business they run and people they are.
A quick note on navigation. With the branding containing a plural there's always a tendancy for people to drop the 's' by mistake. The main site we link to above is www.rdcostings.co.uk, currently www.rdcostings.com does not redirect you there. The majority of possible variants we mentioned (e.g. www.rdcosting.co.uk) also were not currently in use at the time of writing. Lastly, when you search for the "rd costings" name on a search engine there is a company website at www.rcostings.co.uk for a different firm. This is a costs drafting firm aimed at lawyers themselves.
However, whilst we would normally issue warnings and recommend various ways to protect yourself online - there really isn't much of an issue on this occasion. Because RD Costings specialise in criminal injury matters, they are unlikely to be targets for scammers. At the moment the bulk of fraud is aimed at property law firms. Sadly, thousands of people are handing over their bank details and paying deposits to fraudsters who pretend to be from the client's law firm.
General Notes: Usually if Legal Aid is possible we've mentioned it above, but you can always ask. We haven't looked in depth at their recruitment program so are unaware of any job vacancies available. For a career with RD Costings it's best to visit the website (www.rdcostings.co.uk), check opening hours, and find the correct phone/email contact details. Simply emailing a CV to reception looks lazy. Each law firm's Law Society and/or SRA number should be on their site, usually at the bottom of each page.
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