Five reasons a Solicitor should handle your personal injury claim and not an Insurance CompanyDecember 16, 2014
Expert personal injury Lawyer Anthony McCarthy, Director Solicitor at Macks, has represented thousands of people injured in accidents which were not their fault. He explains why you should instruct an independent solicitor to represent you in the event of an accident and not let the claim be dealt with by an insurance company:
I have been giving advice to those injured in accidents for getting on for 20 years. In that time I have often been asked the question, “if you were to give one piece of advice to someone who has suffered injury in an accident what would it be?”
You would have thought that this would be a difficult question. It isn’t. The most important piece of advice I would give to anyone who has had an accident is to appoint a solicitor of their own choice and not allow their claim to be handled by insurers or solicitors who have been appointed by an insurance company.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1) Conflict of interests
If your claim is handled by the insurer of the person who caused your injury there is a clear conflict of interests.
The insurers are interested in paying you as little as possible, if anything, for the injuries and losses that you have suffered.
You, as the injured party, quite properly are interested in obtaining the best settlement that you can to reflect your pain and the losses that you may have suffered.
Insurers are very experienced with dealing with claims, the vast majority of individuals are not. If you settle the claim with the insurers they are in the box seat, the cards are stacked in their favour. You need an independent solicitor acting for you to fight your corner.
2) The Amount of Compensation
There is more to a personal injury claim than money but financial compensation is at the heart of bringing a person injury claim. There is not a week that goes by when I am not contacted by a disgruntled accident victim who has settled or is about to settle a claim direct with an insurer for a sum which does not compensate them properly for the injuries and losses they have sustained
The only way of ensuring that you get full compensation for your injuries and losses is to have an independent solicitor on your side with their expert knowledge and resources.
Accident victims who instruct their own independent solicitor do better than those who settle direct with insurers or their own insurer’s Solicitors.
3) Quality of service
If your claim is dealt with direct with an insurer, or with solicitors appointed by your own insurers, your claim is likely to be dealt with as part of their “claims process”.
The only thing that will matter will be how quickly the claim is dealt with.
They won’t adapt or be flexible to suit you, you will have to fit in with their systems even if that isn’t how you want your claim handled.
At Macks we pride ourselves in providing a quality and caring service for each client. Each client is an individual who deserves the best service.
If clients want to deal with us by email or Facebook or Twitter then we are happy to do so. If clients with to see us in the office and have a more personal face to face discussion that is fine.
That kind of quality service and flexibility is something which insurers and their solicitors are not able to offer.
4) Recommendations v Shareholders
At Macks the vast majority of our clients come to us through recommendations.
We pride ourselves in providing the best service possible so that clients are happy to sing our praises to their friends, family and colleagues so they will think of instructing us should they have an accident which was not their fault. The bottom line is that if we do the best for our clients then they are likely to help us to grow our business.
The bottom line for insurance companies is that they exist to please their shareholders. There is nothing wrong about that but it is important that people are aware that ultimately shareholders are only happy if an insurance company pays out as little as possible in compensation and collects as much as possible in premiums. That directly conflicts with what victims of accident want which is proper compensation.
Ask yourself this, do you want someone representing you who wants to do the best for you or do you want someone representing you who is doing their best to line the pockets of their shareholders?
5) Paying for Your Claim
Despite the ban on referral fees i.e. fees paid by solicitors to obtain work, insurance companies are still entering into arrangements with solicitors which effectively involves the solicitors paying them for work.
Do you really want to put your faith in a firm who have only obtained work because they have paid to get it? Or would you rather go with an independent firm of solicitors who have been recommended to you because they provide a quality caring service?
If you have suffered an injury accident then you are likely to come under a lot of pressure to settle your claim direct with insurers or through solicitors appointed by your own insurers or even via a claims management company who may harass you with emails and nuisance calls.
Always remember it is your choice who you use to deal with your claim. You do not have to use insurers or their solicitors. You should not feel pressured into going with claims management companies.
You should instruct your own solicitor who will represent your interests and your interests alone and will battle as hard as possible to obtain the best settlement for you.
If you don’t, my experience is that you are likely to regret it.