Road Traffic Accidents - which solicitor do I have to use?

We are often asked about Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) and whether people can use their own solicitors instead of one situated miles away. I am one of our expert injury lawyers and here are my comments on a typical question raised by clients-

Question

I was injured in a road accident two months ago when my car was hit by another
vehicle emerging from a junction. I broke my wrist in two places. The other driver’s insurance company has been in touch with me and has offered to settle the claim on a 50/50 basis. They want to make a payment to me of £1,000.00 for my injuries and other losses and expenses. Should I accept? I have been in touch with my own legal expenses insurer (through my own car insurance policy) and they wish to appoint a solicitor who is based a 100 miles away from my home. Do I have a choice of Solicitor?

Answer

You need advice from a solicitor who can go through the details of the accident with you in order to establish the facts and to advise you whether or not the offer of a 50/50 split on liability is reasonable. This will depend on the individual
circumstances but it does sound as though the other driver was probably to blame, if he has emerged from a side road and you were on a main road. Therefore, at this stage, do not admit liability. If you do accept liability on a 50/50 basis, then any compensation you claim for your injuries and other losses and expenses will be reduced by half upon settlement. Additionally, you will be liable for a potential claim by the other driver in respect of his/her injuries and losses. Any such claim should be dealt with by your own insurance company and you must notify them of your accident at the earliest opportunity. Any claim against you could affect your insurance in the future.

You are entitled to be represented by any solicitor you choose. You are not limited to appointing the solicitors recommended by your legal expenses insurer. Your own solicitor can usually arrange legal expenses insurance.

If the other driver is liable, then you will be entitled to claim damages for your injuries and compensation for your other losses and expenses, such as any loss of earnings, vehicle insurance excess, hire and other expenses.

If you have had an accident in the last three years and would like advice with regard to a claim, pleased contact Lindsey Bayles or Joanne Copeland for your first free interview, telephone 01229 811811. Your claim may be dealt with on a “No Win – No Fee” basis.

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