Q: I was badly injured in a car accident when I was stuck by a drunken driver while parked. It will be a long time before I can work again and I am getting desperate for money. Someone from his insurance company has texted me and offered to settle the claim quickly if I go to them directly and don’t use a solicitor. Is this a good idea?
A: No, it’s a terrible idea. You obviously have a very substantial claim, and the insurers are trying to settle it cheaply by approaching you directly. This is an underhand trick, and you need to know that there are a lot of nasty practices in the claims industry. You need to see a solicitor specialising in injury claims to make a claim for you. He or she will be able to advise you on how much your claim is worth, and will make sure that you don’t settle cheaply. Avoid going to a claims management company that advertises on TV as they usually just want to sell your claim. Go directly to a proper firm of solicitors that will look after your interests.
A solicitor may be able to take the case on a “no win, no fee basis” so you don’t have to pay money up front. In clear cut cases it is often possible to get an interim payment from the other driver’s insurers, so you are not out of pocket while your injuries settle down.
It makes sense to use a proper professional. A solicitor is highly qualified, fully insured and only acts in your best interests, unlike an insurance company which is only wants to settle the claim as cheaply as possible. Don’t let yourself down – use a solicitor.