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Personal injury news 20/02/2007

Solicitors give accident claim warning

Personal injury solicitors have criticised insurance agents that are causing victims of road traffic accidents to lose out on thousands of pounds of personal injury compensation.

There have been reports that some people who have been hurt in non-fault car accidents have been visited at their homes by employees of the other party's insurance firm and offered measly sums of money. If they wish to accept the money they are then asked to sign a contract making it impossible for them to pursue further personal injury compensation.

Debra Higgins, a personal injury solicitor with Mansfield-based Shacklocks Solicitors and Investment Advisors, revealed how one of her clients almost lost out on the injury compensation that they were due when they received a visit from an insurance agent.

She said, "I am aware of a situation where an insurance representative turned up on my client's doorstep with a cheque offering 200 in respect of the injuries sustained days after the client was involved in a road traffic accident.

"Wisely the client rejected the offer and came to see me. He ended up settling for over ten times as much as the insurance representative initially offered."

She went on to say, "This is completely inappropriate. It is a clear conflict of interest. Victims of road traffic accidents need to be fully and fairly compensated which involves giving time for the injury to settle and having a full medical examination."

It is reported that some of the insurance agents targeting those who have received personal injuries in car accidents try to get them to accept the cash by telling them that pursuing a compensation claim will prove to be expensive.

They say that making a claim with a no win no fee solicitor will be costly, time consuming and that personal injury solicitors will take a large cut of any damages that are awarded.

Debra Higgins denies this, however, and said, "This is not the case. Clients will be under settling their claims meaning literally they could lose thousands.

"As for losing most of their compensation this is a ploy used to persuade clients to settle. It is simply not true as any costs incurred are recovered on top of any award made. The only winners are the insurers."

Personal injury solicitors throughout the UK have revealed their disgust at insurance firms who attempt to persuade those hurt in car accidents to waiver their right to full injury compensation and have reiterated the importance of contacting an experienced no win, no fee solicitor to make an accident claim.