The Value of a Solicitor
The insurance industry often states that there is no need for someone injured in a road traffic accident to instruct a solicitor and bring a legal claim. They argue that insurers will always treat an injury claimant fairly and make a fair offer of compensation. They allege that it is simply a waste of money involving a solicitor. The insurance industry is pressing the Government to change the law, with many insurers suggesting that any personal injury claim with a value of less than £5,000 should be dealt with without involving a solicitor. As lawyers, we believe that the reality is very different from the caring picture that the insurance industry is keen to present to the Government’s advisers.
In a case that was recently concluded by Richard Foyster, a partner at Ashtons Legal’s Felixstowe office, the defendant’s insurers offered the client £1,000 in full and final settlement of his claim, within weeks of the accident. They said that they felt that this was fair and reasonable. The client came to see us and eventually recovered £10,500. The client made it clear to us that without our advice he would have had no idea what the claim was worth and would probably have accepted the offer of £1,000 and simply assumed that it was fair.
This is not unusual. Ashtons Legal sees numerous examples of similar cases each year. This illustrates the importance of seeking early advice from a specialist solicitor, rather than taking the assurances of the insurance world at face value.
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