Don't get mugged by an insurer - use a solicitor
Accident victims are being urged to make sure they get the correct level of compensation for their injuries and avoid being short-changed by insurance companies.
The Law Society is concerned that people hurt in accidents are sometimes being pressurised into accepting reduced compensation by insurers whose main concern is to boost their company profits.
The Society has started an advertising campaign under the slogan: don’t get mugged by an insurer – use a solicitor. The key message is to urge people not to meekly accept the first offer of compensation from insurers. Instead, they should consult a solicitor who will be able to make sure they get the full level of compensation that their injuries warrant.
Research by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) revealed that personal injury claimants who turn down an insurer’s initial offer and take legal advice from a solicitor get on average three times more compensation.
Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, said: “This campaign doesn't pull any punches, but we need to make a clear message, see your solicitor, don't accept the insurers' first offer and don't deal with claims management companies. Pursuing your claim with a solicitor will mean you will get what you are genuinely entitled to.”
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has also expressed concern at the way insurers can approach victims within days of the accident when they are often confused and vulnerable.
One of the main problems is that most people know little about the compensation system and so are unable to assess whether a settlement offer from an insurance company is fair and reasonable.