Personal Injury Solicitors –V- Insurance Companies
It has started becoming a regular occurrence that personal injury claimants telephone us asking for advice on a settlement offer they have received from the defendant insurers. When I ask them why the defendant insurer is dealing with the claim they usually reply that they were told by them that if they instruct a firm of solicitors they would have to pay up to a 25% success fee out of their compensation. This leads to the claimant believing they would be better off financially by using the insurance company.
So why is it in a claimant’s best interest to instruct their own solicitor rather than go for the alleged cheaper option of using the defendant insurance company? Firstly, by allowing the other insurance company to act on their behalf constitutes a conflict of interest. The insurance company acts for the opponent and will be responsible for paying out any compensation and therefore not acting in the claimant’s best interest. Although the claimant may not have to pay a success fee by using them, it is likely that they will be offered the lower scale of any compensation they are entitled to.
By the claimant instructing their own solicitors, although they may have to pay a success fee, the solicitor will be acting in the claimant’s best interest, will obtain all medical evidence necessary to support the claim and fight to achieve the highest level of compensation available to them. I have regularly taken over such cases and after payment of our success fee the claimant has still been left with a higher amount of compensation than the initial amount offered by the defendant insurer.
One recent client was initially offered £1700 by the defendant insurer. After instructing us he received just over £2500 after deduction of our success fee.
If you have been injured and believe you are entitled to compensation, it is in your best interest to appoint your own firm of solicitors and not be talked out of it by the guilty party’s insurance company who are not acting in your best interest.
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