I had an accident six weeks ago and the other driver’s insurers have contacted me and said that I don’t need a lawyer. They’ve repaired my bike told me that I probably won’t need to see a medical expert to get a pay-out. They seem pretty reasonable but my Dad is telling me that I need legal representation to stop me from being conned by the insurer. What do you suggest?
Lewis Taylor, Evesham
In an effort to reduce the amount they have to pay after an accident, more and more insurers are trying to use a process called “3rd party capture”. They offer to deal with the both sides’ repairs, provide a few sessions of physiotherapy and then make a compensation offer for the injuries that you have suffered.
Unfortunately their interest is directly opposed to yours because they want to pay as little money as they can possibly get away with while you want as much as you can get. Because the injured rider typically has no experience of the process then they are able to get away with paying far less than they should.
They usually make settlement offers very soon after the accident when the full extent of your injuries isn’t known or, as in your case, without any medical evidence. If you then find out you have a more serious injury then there is no second chance.
The benefit of having a solicitor is that you are likely to end up with more compensation.