In October 2018 we received a call from a motorcyclist in crisis. Following a motorcycle collision on the 17th May 2018, just metres from home, he had been injured, was absent from work and struggling with his insurers’ appointed panel solicitor.
Panel Solicitor appointed
After the collision, John reported matters to his insurers and they, in turn, appointed a lawyer to represent him. That lawyer sent John umpteen requests for information by way of questionnaires and forms. He was stuck in a process. Nothing was personal and nothing was tailored to his needs. As settlement loomed, he received a letter from his panel solicitor to say that his injury would attract an award of between £3,500 - £4,500. That was the breaking point. How could such a serious injury only be worth £3,500? John picked up the phone to Motorcycle Law Scotland and we listened. We immediately arranged a face to face meeting.
Motorcycle Law Scotland take over case
Motorcyclists are vulnerable to serious injury. In the collision, John fractured his right ankle and bones in his right foot. John’s occupation meant that he required to be on his feet all day. Although he returned to work following the accident, he was unable to work overtime for a period of six months and, as a result, there was a reduction in his earning capacity.
Independent Medical assessment
We set to work obtaining an independent assessment from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. That surgeon supported John’s claim that he could not do overtime for a period of six months post return to work. That had been completely missed by the panel solicitor.
Assessing a claim for damages
A claim for damages can only be properly assessed and quantified by careful detailed planning and execution. The starting point is always the client and what is unique about a client. We quantified John’s claim after thorough investigation. The table below represents our valuation compared to the panel solicitor’s valuation.
Panel Solicitor's Valuation - £3900-£4900
There were glaring omissions on the part of the panel solicitor by failing to adequately calculate loss and under-valuing the extent of John’s injury. Had it been left to the panel solicitor, John’s case would have been grossly under-settled and he would have been none the wiser. He was just pleased that he made that call to Motorcycle Law Scotland saying:
“I have just recently had Motorcycle Law Scotland settle a claim for me after they took over from a "panel" solicitor appointed by my insurance company who were totally hopeless and grossly undervalued my claim. I cannot thank Brenda and the team enough; very professional, friendly and always kept me up-to-date. I cannot recommend them enough. NEVER go with an appointed solicitor. Give Motorcycle Law Scotland a call first.”
Motorcyclists beware. Never allow your insurer to appoint a panel solicitor. You are entitled to seek out and instruct your own independent specialist lawyer. Don’t get caught up in a legal service that is process driven. At Motorcycle Law Scotland, we are passionate about the service we provide to our fellow motorcyclists. It’s personal.