A flippant statement, if there ever where one, however a truer word never spoken. The “Don’t get mugged” campaign was introduced by the Law society back in 2013 and still rings true today.
The central theme warned that before accepting a compensation offer by an insurer; consider consulting a personal injury solicitor if you are involved in an accident.
The ad campaign originally ran for 2 months during the summer of 2013. It was a relatively normal if quite a robust campaign. The image targeted insurers as slightly unscrupulous. The image itself ended up in railway stations, used by local media, and on the web. However, it remains largely forgotten despite its powerful message.
Moreover, the official figures speak for themselves:
Not all solicitors are the same
Far too many people injured in an accident use the law firm allocated to them by their insurance company. This is an extremely bad idea. Often, insurance companies have very close partnerships with “Panel Solicitors”. These are solicitors that pay the insurance company to work with them, therefore the insurance company can recoup some of their loses.
Regardless of what the insurance company tells you, according to section 6 of the “Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990”, it is your legal right to choose any solicitor, or qualified person, to act on your behalf.
We have heard complaints that insurance companies have specifically told some clients that it is a breach of their policy if they do not use their panel solicitor. This is complete fabrication, and violates your legal rights!
Not all solicitors are equally skilled
Being a solicitor does not automatically qualify you to deal with anything that crosses your desk. Be sure to only use a solicitor that specializes in what it is you require. Our website AUTOMATICALLY filters those who do not match your needs.
Do not settle early
The people over at Trust Legal recommend only settling your case when you have made a “full physical and psychological recovery”. Excluding the injuries which may unfortunately now be permanent, it does not make sense to settle a case whilst still suffering from injuries, especially when even with professional medical advice, it’s hard to say exactly when you may heal. You may have just halved your compensation.
Settling with a premedical offer
In order to save themselves money, insurance companies often try to entice you with an offer of around £1000, which you can have within weeks. Sounds great right? Well no, our statics above, along with the advice from The Law Society’s “Don’t Get Mugged” campaign demonstrates repeatedly how claimants are, on average, losing around £2000 taking these “low ball” offers. Use our search, speak to a solicitor for FREE advice, and then make your choice.
YOUR INSURER IS BIAS!
Keep evidence and financial records
Many people are not aware of this, but regardless of the amount, you are entitled to costs back in addition to your personal injury. You should keep a record of any time off work, parking tickets for hospital, and any other charge you incurred because of your accident.
You should always keep safe the details of the incident. The third parties name, address, registration, accident location, time of day and if you can, take pictures of EVERYTHING. Yes everything, the driver, the passengers, the damage, the road, registration numbers. Sometimes it’s hard to write down things in a panic, pictures tell a thousand words.
Keep all this evidence safe.
Do not play down your injuries
We are not saying you should exaggerate your injuries, nor would we ever encourage fraudulent claims. However, thousands of people opt to not put in any type of claim because they think their injuries are minor, or worse still, not even related to their incident.
Muscle pain, headaches, sore shoulder? These can all be related to your accident, and although can commonly come on a day-to-day basis without any accidents, they are very often caused by your accident.
Speak to a solicitor, allow them to get a medical opinion on your behalf, and then go from there. IT’S FREE! Include EVERYTHING you experienced at the time and for the following weeks. The medical expert will include what he thinks is relevant.
Are you drinking more? Nightmares? Sweats? Just hoping that it will go away? The psychological side of an injury can often be the worst bit. This is not a gender or an age related problem, psychological injuries can happen to anyone. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. Talk about it with your solicitor, and certainly mention it to the medical expert.
Do not fear court
Solicitors work on a no win no fee basis. If they think the odds of losing in court are high, then they simply won’t take your case. If in the unlikely event the case does need to go to court, there will only be a judge and a couple of other key individuals.
If you do not know, ask!
If you have never been through the process before, sometimes it may be overwhelming. Just ask your solicitor, they are there to help. Just remember, they work for you!
But claiming is wrong! Isn’t it?
NO! If you were injured, then you are entitled to compensation. The same as if someone broke into your home; you would be entitled to your possessions back from your home insurance.
What you really should be asking is why are you paying for something and not utilising it?
Let’s take a quick look into how trustworthy insurance companies are.
Insurance companies are quick to cry foul, pointing their finger firmly at the public to blame for high premiums, whilst discreetly increasing their own salary and bonuses. According to the BBC, insurance companies claim that if the public were not eligible to claim for minor injuries, everyone would benefit from a yearly saving of £40.
However, far greater savings would be achieved if they reduced their salaries and bonuses.