Not Happy With Your Solicitor?
We have received many queries from accident claim victims that they require a second opinion regarding an offer put forward by the insurance company acting for the defendant. At this stage, many motorbike accident claim victims already have their own solicitor, a number of which have been appointed by their own insurance company through the panel solicitors.
A lot of injured victims simply take the easy option of choosing their insurance company’s panel solicitors to deal with their claim. However, it has never been expressed by the insurance company that a victim of an injury resulting from a motorbike or cycle accident has a free choice of choosing their solicitor. It is a fundamental right to have an independent solicitor of your choice. While many insurance companies will try to prevent you from choosing your own specialist accident solicitor by withdrawing their legal expense cover, this should not put victims off.
Mr. Ronnie Hutcheon, our senior accident solicitor, explains:
“Many injured accident clients often transfer their old solicitor’s claim to us because they are unhappy with the service. In one case, a lady called Mrs Walton had several solicitors and solicitor clerks dealing with her claim. The last solicitor dealing with her motorbike claim left at a particularly bad time when the defendant made an offer to settle with a 21-day deadline which if not accepted could have severe cost penalties. Luckily we obtained the file and advised her to reject the offer. The net result of the transfer to me was that she received an additional £75,000 more by the time I settled the bike injury claim. I understand that some bike injury victims are nervous about changing solicitors. However, to change to my firm to obtain a second opinion or because you are not happy with the solicitor service, it is a matter of simply signing a one-page authority to transfer the file. I will inform your old solicitors that I will deal with their costs at the end of the case so they will not lose out. When the bike claim is settled and compensation paid, I will then recover my costs and your old solicitors’ costs. As a result, there is no problem with a transfer of file to new solicitors. My firm always runs bike accident claims under our no win, no fee agreement so there is nothing to lose or worry about by a transfer to me.”
Sometimes even a second opinion may help by changing solicitors. We are often approached by clients who just want a sounding board for a second opinion about apportionment of blame or an offer made. We cannot provide advice over the phone without the file being transferred but often a victim injured in an accident tends to be right about their opinions and when the file is transferred to us, we often obtain improved terms of the settlement. Ultimately, it can pay to transfer your accident claim to R. James Hutcheon Solicitors without fear of costs or being penalised by your insurance panel solicitors.