There can be at 50 or more companies advertising in a local phone directory or on the internet all claiming to offer a specialist personal injury compensation claim handling service, and you cannot turn on day time TV without being bombarded into ring a helpline for instant compensation after hearing tales of a claimant was who unable to work for the rest of his life and was delighted to recover a few thousand pounds!! And yes, we’ve had those calls too, you know the ones, about the accident you had in the last three years.
The trouble is that very few of these so-called helplines are solicitors, and even if it is a firm of solicitors, the solicitor may not be a competent specialist personal injury lawyer and even if he is, he may not be truly independent.
If you have been injured, (perhaps you are off work for a few days flicking through those channels on your satellite television, wondering whether you have a claim and who to contact), what do you do?
There is a very quick, very reliable and easy way to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here’s what you do:-
1. Ignore the recommended “panel solicitors” put forward by your motor insurance company
The chances are that they are on the panel because they have some links with the insurer and may even be part of the insurers’ organisation. You will receive a service which could well involve hanging on the telephone and a service which requires significant form filling. You may never speak to the same person twice.
2. You should decline the offer of your opponent’s insurance company to “sort all that out for you”.
This is a recent development by liability insurers to prevent accident victims obtaining legal advice. It is known as third party capture. They will indeed most likely provide fast compensation, but it will be a fraction of what your claim could be worth in our experience.
3. Find a local solicitor who is a member of an accredited panel.
There are two such panels, the Law Society’s Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme, and a separate panel administered by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. Whilst lack of accreditation does not amount to evidence of any lack of ability, panel membership does provide a client with a safeguard that a solicitor knows what he or she is doing and has had proven experience in this area of law.
All of our claims are handled by an Assessor of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel and we have handled injury claims before the world ever heard of accident management companies. Areas in the UK that we specialise in compensation claims include Market Drayton, Stoke on Trent, and Newcastle Under Lyme.