Why should I choose my own solicitor for my personal injury claim?
If you have suffered a personal injury, no matter how, when and where you were injured, the personal injury solicitors at MG Legal recommend that you use a qualified, specialist personal injury solicitor such as MG Legal, who are completely independent of any insurance company, and at liberty to give you advice that is completely independent, and suitable to your case.
In some cases, personal injury solicitors may be affiliated with insurance companies, and may not have your best interests, or those of the outcome of your personal injury claim, at heart. Some insurance companies may try to settle your claim quickly, and at a fraction of the amount you may be legally entitled to claim for. The difficulty is that insurers are very keen to control cases with their own choice of personal injury solicitors, or indeed, as they sometimes refer to them, panel lawyers, and use their buying power to keep panel lawyers costs under control. Often, a deal is struck whereby the panel lawyer earns less than they would usually expect in return for volume instructions which the insurer is ready to offer.
As MG Legal’s personal injury solicitors are independent of outside influences, and we refuse to deal with accident management companies, of referral schemes, you can be sure that you, our injured client, has all of our attention, and we are working for you, and you alone. Because of this, we will make sure that you’ll receive the maximum amount of compensation you’re legally entitled.
Some of our clients that approach our personal injury solicitors have been refused the choice to seek their own choice of solicitor, by their insurance company, but, as we tell people time and time again, if you are injured, you can choose any personal injury solicitor you want.
The key legal provision is the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990, which implemented the European Legal Expenses Insurance Directive 87/344/EEC. These Regulations, at regulation 6, state that the right of a policyholder to choose their own lawyer in ‘any inquiry or proceedings’.
The precise wording that allows an injured person to instruct their own personal injury solicitor, and the wording that you should bear in mind if your legal expense insurers are being particularly awkward, is:
‘Where under a legal expenses insurance contract recourse is had to a lawyer (or other person having such qualifications as may be necessary) to defend, represent or serve the interests of the insured in any inquiry or proceedings, the insured shall be free to choose that lawyer (or other person)’
(2) The insured shall also be free to choose a lawyer (or other person having such qualifications as may be necessary) to serve his interests whenever a conflict of interests arises.
(3) The above rights shall be expressly recognised in the policy.
So, the legal position is clear: as the policyholder, you have the freedom to choose your own solicitor and do not have to use a panel solicitor put forward by your insurer. Our advice would be to choose a local solicitor that specialises in personal injury, such as MG Legal, and have a consultation with them so that you are fully informed how they can assist you, what the next steps are, and what you should expect when pursuing a personal injury claim.