Why You Shouldn't Accept an Insurance Company's Offer Without Legal Advice
According to Financial Services Authority statistics obtained by the Law Society, victims of accidents who take legal advice from a solicitor get up to three times more compensation than those who accept the first offer from an insurance company.*
Insurance companies are often keen to offer injured parties an out-of-court settlement straight away, either once they’ve been contacted by a road traffic accident victim with a need to get their vehicle repaired, or once they have word that a claim is being made against the party they represent. They do this because it saves them money both in legal fees and in paying higher compensation amounts to the victims of accidents.
Many victims feel relieved that the insurance company has admitted liability without a lengthy legal process and will accept the offer without thinking of the implications of settling and without fully understanding the long term impact of their injuries. Read our useful article on what happens once liability has been accepted to find out more about this process.
An accident victim can often receive an offer to settle their claim from the other party’s insurance company before even having a chance to seek proper medical advice, let alone legal advice. This is an all too familiar occurrence when it comes to injured individuals, with insurance companies seeking to resolve claims quickly and cheaply, with no regard for the injured victim.
Accepting an offer before an injury claim has been fully investigated can lead to problems further down the line.
What might seem like an appealing settlement at first might not be enough to cover your medical expenses, recover lost earnings or care for your family should your injuries worsen, which many injuries commonly sustained in road accidents do. Once you accept an offer to settle an injury claim, you cannot then re-open your case.
Always Seek Independent Legal Advice
The Law Society’s 2013 “Don’t get mugged by an insurer” campaign urged people to seek legal advice before accepting any offer from an insurance company. This is something that JMW Solicitors fully support, and we would advise anyone considering making a claim to speak to a qualified legal professional.
Insurance companies want to avoid court, as this will result in huge bills for them and potentially larger payouts. However, for innocent victims of accidents, a solicitor will remain impartial, working in your best interests. A solicitor will advise you how much you should rightfully receive as compensation for your accident and help you to make informed decisions about your claim every step of the way, even if this does mean a visit to court. They will ensure that you get objective medical advice if your injury requires it, and diligently gather evidence that supports your claim.
If you want expert and comprehensive advice following an accident call JMW today on 0345 872 6666 and speak to one of our expert advisers, who can help you get your claim started. Read more about road traffic accidents compensation claims.
*Statistics taken from the Law Society's 2013 "Don't Get Mugged by an Insurer" campaign.