Road Accident Solicitors Warning

Many of us will never, thank goodness, need to enlist the services of road accident solicitors. Nevertheless, accidents do happen, so picture the scene. You’re innocently driving along when you are hit in the rear of your vehicle by another driver. You weren’t to blame for the accident. So, as the law states that you must, you both stop and swap contact and insurance details and you go on your way planning to contact your insurers later on in the day.

Then, imagine you’re at home and there’s a knock at your door before you even have time to telephone your insurers and it is a representative of the other driver’s insurers. Then, he or she offers to write you a cheque there and then in order to compensate you for your injuries and losses. This is great you think!
However, road accident solicitors might advise you to stop and reflect on whether this is such a great deal after all. The practice of insurance companies contacting the claimant offering to settle their claim right away is becoming increasingly common. When companies do this it is almost always very promptly. There have even been some reports of insurance company employees making offers of settlements at the very scene of the accident.

Whilst all this sounds like a very swift and efficient service, road accident solicitors are warning consumers about the practice. Consider why the insurance companies would be so keen to settle claims so quickly. Indeed, consumers should question the motives of an insurance company trying to settle a claim before legal advice has even been sought and before the full extent of the injuries have become apparent.

Many road accident solicitors and personal injury lawyer associations are warning that companies are actually trying to save themselves some money whilst claiming to provide efficient service. This is because, should they agree to the proposed amount of compensation, the insurance company requires the claimant to sign a form stating that they accept the offer in full and final settlement of the claim. In other words, once that form is signed the claim is legal concluded and regardless of what happens there is no going back and claiming any further money, even with the help of road accident solicitors.

Consumers therefore run the risk of accepting a claim worth less than what they’re entitled to and what they may need. It is well known that the full extent of injuries may take several days or even weeks to be clear. One of the purposes of compensation is to pay for ongoing treatment of injuries, so understanding their full extent is important before agreeing to a settlement. Road accident solicitors therefore advise that consumers should seek legal and medical advice before agreeing to any settlement.

The Association of British Insurers has created a voluntary code of practice to try to protect consumers from being left out of pocket by this practice. It states that insurers attempting to settle claims early with the claimant must make sure that he or she is aware of their right to independent legal advice.  It also states that initial contact should be by mail or telephone and not in person to avoid intimidation.

Filed under Elder Law · Tagged with

Comments are closed.