The answer is NO!
Panel Solicitors are often based in an entirely different part of the country and usually, they never meet their Clients. Most of the work will be carried out by paralegals, not solicitors. Communication will often be based on standard questionnaire type forms.
Many of my clients have come to me frustrated by their experiences elsewhere, often saying that they were upset because there seemed to be no one individual with whom they could communicate or no one person driving their case forward. I find it is important to obtain a first-hand account from each Client of the circumstances of their accident. This can be particularly important where the Defendant denies liability. How the claim is presented can make the difference between obtaining compensation and obtaining nothing at all. I find that it is also important to meet with each Client in order to appreciate the full extent of their injuries and losses. Often a Client is unaware of the full extent of their injuries, particularly where there may also be some psychological injury. In some instances, for example, a Client may be unaware that they have suffered post-traumatic stress from their car accident. This can present itself in the form of anxiety, mood changes, flashbacks and/or nightmares. Sometimes it is their partners or close relatives who are more aware of these changes. Clients may also be unaware of the full extent of their financial losses and what exactly they may claim for.
Where a Client has existing legal expense insurance I am happy to work for the Client under their existing policy where Insurers are agreeable. Where Insurers are not agreeable, I am also willing to act for you under a no win/no fee agreement. Either way I can act for you.
The outcome of your Road Traffic Accident Claim depends upon the experience and the quality of the person handling your claim. This is true no matter what the size of the organisation whom you approach. It can make a very big difference to the outcome of your claim whether a paralegal or an experienced solicitor handles your claim. The choice is yours.
This is happening increasingly where the opposing insurers contact a victim early on encouraging them to settle early and not seek independent legal advice. The danger is that if you settle too early the full extent of your road traffic accident claim injuries may not be known. You may accept £1,000 or £1,500 now but your injuries could be worth considerably more. There are also headings of claim of which you may be unaware. Once you have settled your claim it is usually not possible to re-open it. If you do not obtain advice, you run the risk of settling your claim for too little.
It is always sad to hear of someone who failed to bring their claim within the required period as they believed they had no claim because the other driver had no insurance. The good news is that you can still bring a claim even though the other driver has no insurance. You will be able to bring your claim against the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB). You will also be able to recover your legal costs from the MIB.
You will still have a claim against the Motor Insurer’s Bureau under their Untraced Drivers Scheme although the amount of legal costs which you can recover is restricted.
To view comments from some of my past Clients please go to Testimonials.