Do I need a solicitor for a personal injury claim? This is a question we are frequently asked as many insurance companies offer to deal with injured parties direct and – as we outlined in a recent blog – unregulated ‘litigation firms’ are springing up falsely claiming to be able to undertake personal injury work.
This makes the process of bringing a personal injury claim seem complicated, but it need not be. To help Terry Maylin, who has specialised in personal injury claims since 1989 and is a member of the prestigious Law Society Personal Injury Panel, provides this helpful guide…
Personal injury claim solicitor or DIY?
There are four paths you could choose when it comes to making a personal injury
1) Act on your own behalf (as there is no requirement to instruct a solicitor to pursue your personal injury claim)
2) Opt for the solicitor your insurer recommends
3) Choose to work with an unregulated “litigation advisor” or “litigation firm”
4) Seek the help of a specialist APIL solicitor (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)
What’s best for you?
Quite simply, seeking the help of a regulated member of APIL, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, will always be the best choice.
The reasons for this are numerous, here are a few for you to consider –
- Even if the insurers admit liability, without legal advice, how do you know that the amount they have offered you is enough? If they offer £2,000, or even £20,000? The offer may sound generous, but how do you know if it’s fair? You don’t.
- How do you know that the doctor the insurance company has sent you to for a medical report is independent? A lot of insurers who offer legal expenses cover will try and convince you that you must use “their” solicitors. Remember: the insurance company is not acting in your best interests. The insurance company is acting in the best interests of the shareholders.
- The aim of the insurer to settle the claim for as little as possible is at odds with your right to full and fair compensation.
- The law, in relation to how the amount for future losses is awarded, has just changed- in favour of claimants. How will you know what you are supposed to be awarded for future losses without legal advice on this complicated issue?
- “Litigation firms” offering legal advice services are unregulated and have no legal standing
Then there is also the matter of claim for care, rehabilitation, interim payments, and fees.
- Legitimate care – Many insurers regard claims for care (when you are unable to do things you would normally do) as a myth. But it is a legitimate and sometimes valuable head of claim. How will you know what you can and cannot claim for in terms of care and for what periods and at what rate?
- Rehabilitation – There is now a rehabilitation code which requires those insurers that participate to assist your recovery by providing rehabilitation. How will you know what to ask for and what they should be doing without a solicitor to advise?
- Fees – At TM Law we will always endeavour to find a way of running your case so that you do not have to part with any money during the case and if appropriate will run the case on a “No win , no pay” basis. In addition, we will also do our utmost to obtain an interim payment so that you do not have to wait until the end of the case to receive any money.
And remember – Full & Final Settlement means just that.
Once you agree a settlement in a personal injury claim, and accept the insurance company offer, you are unable to revisit the matter at a later date and claim further compensation.
So, if you under-settle because of bad advice, or a lack of knowledge, you’re stuck with it.
Don’t be tempted to DIY via Google
You might be tempted to Google how much your personal injury claim is worth.
But beware. Your claim is your claim, and it’s impossible to gauge how much your claim would be worth from such a wide range of figures.
For example, Google results list a minor back injury claim as ranging from a few hundred pounds to over £10,000. With severe back injuries achieving awards of over £100,000. However, these figures do not consider legitimate care, rehabilitation or future financial losses which could increase the value of the claim.
Terry Maylin says, “When choosing the personal injury claim route that’s best for you, always keep your primary aim front of mind. That is, to be fairly and fully compensated for the injury you sustained. To be recompensed for any past and future financial losses, and to be compensated for any future impact.
Evidence shows that personal injury compensation settlements obtained by solicitors are, on average, at least twice as high as DIY claim settlements. This make the case clear for choosing to work with a competent and experience personal injury solicitor, and member of APIL, who will act with your best interests at heart, and ensure you achieve your aim”.
Don’t DIY your personal injury claim
About TM Law – Specialist Personal Injury Solicitors
Based in Hockley, Essex, TM Law is a small and dedicated solicitors. With many years’ experience, helping business owners and local individuals with matters of personal injury, compromise agreements, employment disputes, debt recovery, commercial disputes and much more. TM Law is also a member of the Essex Business Forum and has been awarded the association’s Mark of Excellence.
As a specialist personal injury solicitors, TM Laws’ knowledge is second to none. Terry Maylin has specialised in personal injury claims since 1989 and is a member of the prestigious Law Society Personal Injury Panel and also a member of APIL which is an organisation dedicated to the pursuit of helping the victims of accidents and as such is in a good position to offer first class legal advice on personal injury matters