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claiming from Aviva, not using solicitors

trekclimb1954trekclimb1954 Posts: 16
edited July 2011 in Campaign
Hi, has anyone had any experience of dealing with an insurance company (of a motorcyclist who knocked me off my bike) without the aid of a solicitor?

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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Hi, has anyone had any experience of dealing with an insurance company (of a motorcyclist who knocked me off my bike) without the aid of a solicitor?

    Why don't you want to use a solicitor?

    They are the experts and will represent you on a no win no fee basis (normally)


    Why would you want to represent yourself against experts whose only aim is to reduce the payout by the other side.

    There is a maxim that the person who represents themselves in a legal matter has a fool for a client


    PS What's the campaign issue?
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • I have been sent some information by a no win no fee solicitor and their costs start at £175 per hour! Which i assume is paid by the insurance company.
    My total costs new forks, shorts, glasses lenses and top come to £250 ish.
    My injuries are healing nicely and i'm expecting to be back in action by the weekend, three weeks of inaction.
    I've lost no money only a bit of pain and discomfort.
    I may seem naive to even suggesting not using the solicitors but depending on what the insurance company agree to pay for my pain/suffering the only big winner is going to be the solicitors.
    And i'm clueless what they may even offer.

    cheers Bob

    ps i liked the maxim
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,367
    the only big winner is going to be the solicitors
    No, the only big winner will be the insurance company, although you could argue that if everyone settled things in this way then it would keep insurance costs down - but I don't know that compensation costs like this are a huge factor in motor insurance, just look at the hire charges for courtesy cars.

    I was knocked off by a driver insured with Aviva. They coughed up for damaged gear, only about £200 as the bike was hardly scratched, almost immediately with no quibbles: this encouraged me to try the lawyer-free route, at first they seemed helpful, but after a while it was obvious that the "we'll look after you" basically amounted to a call-centre physio.
    After a more than two years of time-consuming petty wrangling, and presumably based on an assessment of my injuries at the end of a phone, they made me a fairly insulting offer for personal injury. After more wrangling I convinced them that a medical would be a good idea, and gave them the name of a well-known local shoulder specialist (injuries were collar bone + a good bit of other damage to the shoulder / chest). They told me that it coldn't possibly be fair and unbiased to go and see my choice of specialist, I had to see theirs: who turned out to be a semi-retired surgeon with a decent reputation for amputating smokers' limbs.
    After a farce of a medical - it consisted mainly of him going through my notes to see if he could find any evidence of activity after my accident that would indicate I wasn't that badly affected - Aviva made me a reduced offer, actually less than the minimum going rate for a broken collar bone.
    That was when I decided that I didn't really care about making the lawyers rich and got a local solicitor involved, she not only got things moving faster but took a load of hassle off my shoulders - dealing with Aviva was winding me up really badly. She saw their surgeon and raised them a professor of orthopaedics, who did x-rays and ultrasounds that found injuries that hadn't previously come to light, and referred me to the shoulder specialist I'd suggested (by then) a year before.
    So far (with nearly four years gone) Aviva have made an offer over three times their original one, which my lawyer advised me to reject as it was still too low: but I'm hoping that I might have my new bike by the time of that fourth anniversary....

    The big question then: is it right to try and screw every penny of compensation out of them? I sometimes wonder, but then I think of things like the first four weeks or so after the accident, when I would wake my kids up with the shouts of pain if I moved in my sleep, or the funny-bone type nerve twangs that still happen at random times, or the non-stop clunking in my shoulder that is strong evidence that I can expect arthritis and other problems in years to come.
    You may feel that your injuries are no big deal, but Spen, in his usual charming way, is right - there is no real downside to using a solictor.



    PS medical research (seriously) shows that the most effective treatment for accident victims is compensation - symptoms always seem to improve remarkably once they get it :wink:
  • thanks for your replies it's given me lots of help.
    worst scenario is i'll get them to pay out for my damaged gear then go to a solicitor.

    cheers Bob
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    thanks for your replies it's given me lots of help.
    worst scenario is i'll get them to pay out for my damaged gear then go to a solicitor.

    cheers Bob

    Erm you may find you will not be able to do that.

    A pay out is usually in full and final settlemdent of a claim. Thus you only get one bite at cherry. If you accept the payment you may well find yourself prevented from making a 2nd claim for personal injury.

    I am at a loss to understand why you don't simply instruct a solicitor to represent you. Yes, they will cost the insurance company, but you have no duty to the insurance company.

    In fact, the insurance company are our opponent and will do everything they can to pay you nothing or as little as possible. Why try to protect them?
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • and Aviva are notorious for so called 'third party capture'. Under settling and looking after their own interests with no concern for whether you receive anything like a fair settlement. Aviva will do you no favours.

    Go and see a reliable solicitor and get some proper advice.

    To add to your woes, the government (sic) have it in for you too, see http://www.accesstojusticeactiongroup.co.uk/home/
    There's no such thing as too old.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    thanks for your replies it's given me lots of help.
    worst scenario is i'll get them to pay out for my damaged gear then go to a solicitor.

    cheers Bob

    To OP nope, no experience of going up against an insurance company on my own. The two occasions I have been knocked down whilst on my bicycle (by cars, not motorcyclists - this is irrelevant really) I have instructed solicitors specialising in representing cyclists.

    Please contact such a solicitor who specialises in representing cycling CLAIMANTS who have been injured in RTAs. Trying to do it yourself is a recipe for disaster.

    Forget all this wishy washy liberal clap trap, etc, about not claiming on moral grounds /compensation culture. A defendant's insurer's sole purpose is to limit it's losses on behalf of it's insured and will do this by any means possible if even if means fecking you around, delaying tictacs or denying liability totally. You have been injured through no fault of your own and thus you are entitled in law to recover your losess and seek compensation. To do this most efficiently you should seek the help of a specialist solicitor who will advise you. If they think your chances of success are slim or there are problems with your case they will advise you so. You will not know this. They will also have experience dealing with insurers, presenting a case to them and issuing proceedings if the insurer is being difficult.

    Here are some solicitors who have arrangements with cycling organisations although you do NOT have to be a member of the cycling organisations to take advantage of these solicitors.

    LCC - Levenes
    CTC - Russel Jones Walker
    British Cycling - I don't know
    BikeLine - Alyson France

    Please please contact a specialist personal injury solicitor such as above. Representing yourself you are effectively making yourself lamb to the slaughter. How would you feel if you got £254 when your claim for compensation was worth on a modest asessment £4,000? The only people laughing then would be the defendant's insurers.

    Why is this in Campaign?
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
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