How important is it to find an independent, local Solicitor? The answer is simple – very.
When people think about personal injury claims, they immediately think of the irritating television and radio adverts that we all hear every day. Until it affects you personally, it is all just an annoyance. But who should you turn to when someone crashes into the back of your car or you are injured and so you can’t work?
Most people ring their own insurers first. When they tell their insurers they are injured, their details will immediately be passed on to the insurer’s “panel” solicitors to contact them about their claim.
What most people don’t know is that most insurers have a financial interest in passing you on to their panel solicitors. Some insurance companies even try to say that it is a condition of the insurance policy that they have the right to appoint a solicitor to act for you of their choice. However, legally this is not the case as you have the freedom to choose your own solicitor.
You are also likely to get bombarded by calls from claims management companies who want to try to sell your case or the ‘at fault’ insurance companies who want to try to under-settle your claim. This process is called ‘third party capture’. Often insurers will suggest that dealing with them directly will be cheaper, easier and quicker than involving a solicitor. This may sound tempting when you are not feeling well and just want to get your car back on the road. This leaves injured people at considerable risk of settling their personal injury claim at significantly less than its true value.
Internal figures at Sweeney Miller Solicitors show that that where an insurer makes an initial offer to a client, and that offer is rejected, on average we secure more than double the insurer’s offer when the claim reaches settlement.
So what you should do? Remember, the ‘at-fault’ insurer is not on your side. You need to instruct a solicitor to make sure that you get the proper level of compensation. If this is happening to you right now, don’t get injured twice, contact an independent local Solicitor.