We have blogged previously about Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI). If you have LEI and approach your insurer for cover under the policy to make, for example, a personal injury claim, you may find the insurance company saying that they have the right to appoint a solicitor of their choice to act for you. We often get asked the question: "Do I have to use the solicitor my insurer tells me to use?" The true position is that you do not have to go with their choice. Right to appoint own solicitor for proceedings It’s not entirely simple but under Regulations dating from 1990 (the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations) you have the right to select the solicitor who will be appointed in respect of any proceedings. Of course, the normal procedure with a claim is that your solicitor will intimate it by letter first of all and, in many cases, the claim can be negotiated to a successful conclusion without the need for a court action – in other words, without the Continue Reading
Choosing a solicitor to help with your personal injury claim
How do you go about choosing someone to help you with a personal injury compensation claim?
How do you even know if you need help?
What if there's a 'friendly' insurer (the other person's insurer) offering to help you sort out your claim?
What if they're offering to set you up with a solicitor to run your claim for you? Why would they do that? What's in it for them.
The numerous articles here cover issues which come up when you're thinking about choosing a solicitor to help you with your personal injury claim.
If you live in Moray or have been injured in an accident which happened in Moray, here are some factors to consider if you need to choose a solicitor to help you with a personal injury claim. Are you going to use a local solicitor or one who is at a distance from you? A Moray solicitor will have local knowledge, which could be useful and give them an advantage over someone who is not based in the area. For some types of accident - for example, pavement tripping accidents - it can be crucial for someone (often, the solicitor!) to visit the locus of the accident as soon as possible after the accident in order to take photographs and make measurements. A local solicitor is going to be better-placed to carry out such work. Or maybe not. Google Streetview and other free online tools mean that a virtual visit to a locus is often possible and this may be sufficient, depending upon the type of accident. So, it may not be essential to have a local solicitor to deal with your Continue Reading
Peter Brash, Grigor & Young, APIL Senior Litigator Not every solicitor handles personal injury claims but, more importantly, not every solicitor who handles personal injury claims is a specialist. In previous posts, we have explained why you need a specialist personal injury solicitor, preferably local to you, to handle your claim for you; and how the Law Society of Scotland’s Accreditation scheme is one badge of recognition of skills beyond the ordinary in particular areas of law, such as personal injury. How else can you tell whether a solicitor is going to be up to the task of handling your claim? Membership of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) APIL is a not-for-profit organisation set up over 20 years ago to encourage accident prevention and assist accident victims through campaigns and lobbying. It has over 4,300 members, most of whom are UK-based solicitors. APIL’s headquarters are in Nottingham. The culture of the Continue Reading
In another article, we saw how proven specialist knowledge in a particular area of law is probably the most important factor when you are looking to get help from a solicitor - assuming you do not already have a solicitor or a good recommendation from a close friend or relative. In this article, we discuss how best to go about choosing a personal injury solicitor in Scotland. How to establish a solicitor's 'proven specialist knowledge' in relation to personal injury claims If you have been injured in an accident and need to make a personal injury claim in Scotland, how do you go about finding a solicitor with the necessary specialist knowledge? Lots of solicitors' firms - and others who are not solicitors - claim to have the necessary experience and expertise to handle your compensation claim, so what you need is an independent benchmark of excellence to give you confidence that you are trusting your claim to a safe pair of hands. Law Society of Scotland specialist Continue Reading
We are often contacted in situations where you, as the injured person, have been in touch with your insurers following an accident and they have recommended particular solicitors to you to deal with your claim. Situations where insurers recommend particular solicitors The types of insurance scenarios here include cover under motor insurance, house insurance and legal expenses insurance. It seems to be regularly the case that you will be left with the feeling from your discussion with your insurer that you have “no choice” but to go along with what they suggest. The solicitor is effectively appointed for you. They will probably not be local to you. You can choose your solicitor In truth, you do have a choice. First of all, you need to understand that many insurers have commercial relationships with the solicitors they recommend or appoint. The firms in question are often large and will delegate the bulk of the work on your case to non-solicitors. Secondly, as a Continue Reading
The answer is generally “yes”. Please read on for an explanation. In many situations if you have been injured as the result of an accident, you will have other property losses that will be insured and you will be contacting your insurers to claim for those. The most common example is road traffic accidents. Your car may well have been damaged and you will contact your insurers to see about repairs or a replacement vehicle. Your motor insurers will these days usually ask you if you have been injured in the accident. If you have been injured, they will refer you on to a specific law firm as if it is “the normal thing to do”. It is important to be aware that there is a financial relationship between the insurers and the solicitors they recommend to you. The relationship operates on the basis that the insurance company agrees to pass on all their claims to the solicitors and the solicitors pay a referral fee for the privilege. It means that the recommendation is not necessarily Continue Reading