As specialist solicitors representing injured people we strive to obtain the maximum compensation you legally deserve. We find it alarming that there is a trend that may lead to you receiving less compensation then you are entitled to.
Third Party Capture
Third party capture is a tactic employed by insurance companies whereby the company will contact you directly in order to try and settle the claim without you using any legal representation. On the face of things, you may find an early settlement enticing. However, this tactic could see you lose out compensation.
We endorse the advice provided by Citizens Advice summarised below;
If you’ve been injured or suffered trauma as a result of your accident you may be feeling vulnerable. If the other person’s insurer contacts you to try and settle the claim, it may be tempting to accept an offer to avoid any more stress or delay. However, this may not be in your best interests.
Before you decide to accept an offer, think about the following things:
- You don’t have to accept any offer that’s made to you. If you do accept an offer it might be lower than the compensation you would have got if you’d used a solicitor or gone to court instead
- Don’t feel under any pressure to make a decision quickly. You generally have up to three years from when the accident happened to make a claim for compensation
- If you’ve been hurt, get a full medical assessment, to confirm any injuries you’ve got and the likely impact on your life
- If an insurer offers you payment or asks you to sign something, make sure you know what it’s for
- You don’t have to use a solicitor that an insurer offers to arrange for you. You can appoint your own at any time or seek independent legal advice.
Supreme Court decision
The issue of third party capture was dealt with in the Supreme Court last month in the case of Gavin Edmondson Solicitors Limited v Haven Insurance Company Limited. The case concerned an insurer contacting victims directly after the victim’s solicitors had lodged a claim, bypassing their solicitor. In this case it was decided that the insurance company had interfered with the rights of the solicitors to recover costs and the insurer should pay the solicitors fees. The Supreme Court determined that the insurers are still required to pay the solicitors costs after following this tactic.
Too Good to be True?
Whilst the Supreme Court remained silent on the legitimacy of the tactic employed by the insurer, we are firmly of the opinion that if an insurer made such an approach to you it could be detrimental to your case.
It is our advice therefore to avoid the temptation of an approach by the other side’s insurer. Whilst they may appear to be on your side, the approach is to save them money in the long term by short changing you with your compensation. If you want the compensation you deserve as a result of being injured in an accident, it is our advice that you contact a specialist personal injury solicitor.
Our Personal Injury team will offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your case. If you wish to pursue the case and it has reasonable prospects of succeeding then we can take care of everything for you on a No Win No Fee basis allowing you to carry on with your life whilst we proceed with your legal case at no financial risk to you.
If you have been injured in an accident and you want free, local, specialist advice on claiming compensation then please contact our specialist personal injury team on 01392 285000. We have offices in Exeter, Cullompton and Newton Abbot.