Q: I am claiming compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident that was not my fault. My injuries are not being disputed but the insurance company has instructed a solicitor who is based miles away to handle my claim. With the COVID restrictions this means there is no chance of him or her ever seeing me and my injuries. I find this extremely worrying as the appointed solicitor will not have a first-hand opportunity to see how bad I am and may therefore not get me the best deal. So, my question is: do I have to go with that solicitor, or can I request to have a solicitor to handle my case who is based nearer to where I live?
A: Under the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990, you have the right to choose which solicitor will be appointed to handle any proceedings to claim compensation that are conducted on your behalf.
If you do not challenge the choice of solicitor, your insurance company will automatically pass you over to one of several firms of solicitors on a panel that they use, under agreement. However, that panel solicitor may not necessarily be the best person to act for you for any number of reasons, not least because of physical distance between you and their offices preventing you from receiving the personal attention your case deserves.
Choosing the right solicitor to act for you is key. You would not for instance, want the same solicitor who acted for you in your home purchase or drawing up your Will, to handle your compensation claim. You should choose a specialist personal injury lawyer who is experienced in your particular type of claim.
Article April 2021
This question has been answered by Claire Parfitt, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.
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