If you were involved in an accident you probably just want to get back on your feet as quickly and simply as possible. You will be more concerned with repairing the damage to your vehicle and getting the right medical attention, not to mention ensuring you receive the right level of sick pay from work, than dealing with paperwork or making phone calls to insurers.
This is hardly surprising, but it can result in victims being taken advantage of to some extent by insurers. When you call to report an accident and begin the claims process your insurer will start to take on all the paperwork and requirements. This can seem like a relief, but this also means they will automatically assign you to a solicitor of their choosing.
In many cases there is no problem at all with this system. Insurers work with solicitors time and again so they know who to recommend. But they may also be receiving a fee from the solicitors for giving them your case, so it might not mean the best deal for you. The law on these referral fees is changing, but it is always worth remembering that you have the right to choose your legal representation in any situation.
If you speak to the assigned solicitor and are confident in their expertise and happy with the way they are handling your case then do allow them to continue. But if, for any reason, you are not convinced that they are the right people to handle your case then you can, and should, change.
The most straightforward way to do this is to find a solicitor that you are happy to work with and have confidence in and have them deal with the changeover. You may find a new legal team based on people who have helped you previously, or people who have been recommended to you by friends or family. However you choose, so long as you are confident that they will do a better job for you than the insurer’s recommend solicitor then go ahead and change.
This does not even have to mean a lot of extra work or hassle for you. If you feel you are being bullied into working with a certain solicitor then question why this is so and whether this makes it potentially problematic for you and your case. Always feel free to get second or even third opinions before agreeing to anything and remember that a solicitor is there to get you the best possible outcome for your claim, not your insurer.
Date Published: September 23, 2013
Author: David Brown