Q. I have had a road traffic collision which was not my fault and I have just received an approach from the insurers of the person who crashed into me. They have told me that they can deal with the claim for me and that it would work out quicker for me to use their services than my own local solicitor. I am nervous about accepting their offer. What are my options?
A. Insurers are now much more pro-active and when they realise their insured was at fault for an accident will often now offer to pay for the injured party to use a solicitor but you need to be aware this will be a solicitor of their choice and it is highly unlikely that this will be a local solicitor. You will not therefore be able to visit that solicitor to discuss any concerns you might have. That solicitors' charges will be paid by the insurer so you may feel that they have a conflict of interests.
You have a right to use whichever solicitor you wish to. You should not be pressurised into using a solicitor of the insurers' choice. You may well feel that your own solicitor is more likely to be independent if their services are not paid for by the insurer. In the vast majority of road traffic accident claims where liability (fault) is not an issue, the claim will not cost you anything.
Sean Rowcliffe, Partner
This article was previously published in the Stamford Mercury.