A legal victory for freedom of choice

Did you know that if you are involved in an accident and wish to make a personal injury claim, you are entitled to choose your own solicitor?

Often, insurance companies will advise you to go with their preferred supplier which may not take into consideration things like locality.

The European Free Trade Association Court has just considered whether provisions in a legal expenses insurance contract were compatible with the freedom for insured persons to appoint a lawyer set out in the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC).

Without wanting to get to bogged down in legal technicalities, Article 201(1)(a) of the Solvency II Directive states that, in relation to legal expenses insurance contracts, the insured person must be free to choose a lawyer.

In our experience

Recently, we received instruction from a local Devon based client who was involved in a car accident, who had previously been called by a firm of solicitors in conjunction with her insurance company. Realising that she was unlikely to ever be able to meet in person with her solicitor as the firm were based miles away in Kent , she decided to come to us instead. This allowed face-to-face discussions and the opportunity to build a proper relationship.

Being based locally to our clients and providing legal assistance directly to nearby communities in Devon, we rely on our reputation and word of mouth, to bring work in. We work hard for every single client and, because we do, our personal injury team is expanding and our reputation is growing.

Insurance company panel solicitors are guaranteed new work from the insurance companies, so they need often don’t need to maintain excellent customer service and results.

Comment

In spite of this helpful legal decision, we know that in practice insurance companies continue to sometimes refuse their customers freedom of choice of lawyer. Make sure you choose the solicitor that’s best for you.

If you have been injured in an accident and you want free, local, specialist advice on claiming compensation then please contact Penelope or Rebekah on 01392 285010.