It is easier than you think to change solicitors halfway through a motorbike accident compensation claim.
On an all too frequent basis we see sound motorcycle accident cases, sometimes involving catastrophic injuries, rejected out of hand. Quite often, the solicitor has not seen any witness evidence, any police report, spoken to witnesses or the police.
Even worse, in some cases, they have, and have misapplied the law, or relied on the wrong facts to make their decision.
You may want to consider a ‘second opinion’ from White Dalton.
We have helped many clients who have been unhappy with the service or advice they have received from their insurance appointed solicitors and you should not be worried about seeking advice from another firm of solicitors on your claim so that you can make an informed choice about whether to move your case to White Dalton.
It’s a common misconception that you’re stuck with the solicitor your insurance company gives you if you’re unlucky enough to have an accident.
At White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors we take over many cases for clients frustrated by their solicitor’s lack of knowledge of motorbikes and accidents. All our solicitors have to ride motorcycles.
On the road we’ve experienced many of the risks and situations road riders face – and in the legal world we are leaders in our field for defending riders, with years of real experience in protecting our client’s interests
So don’t risk your case being dealt with by “claims handlers” or “paralegals” with no biking experience whatsoever. You are not their learning curve – talk to our experienced solicitors today.
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If you are considering changing solicitors there are a number of questions that you should ask yourself.
1. Is your solicitor actually qualified?
The first question is whether you actually have a solicitor. This is not as stupid as it sounds. Often companies do not want to pay for experienced solicitors to run cases properly, so unqualified claims handlers or administrators push buttons on computers.
Check the Law Society database. It is illegal to call yourself a solicitor if you are not an admitted solicitor, so ask. Either a person is a solicitor or they are not. A yes or no is the only acceptable choice.
2. Did you choose the solicitor or were they appointed for you?
If a solicitor, or more likely an unqualified claims handler, has phoned you or written to you out of the blue, then more likely than not you have a panel solicitor acting for you. These are firms who have cases directed to them from your from insurer. The arrangements change from panel firm to firm and insurer to insurer. Sometimes the insurer actually owns the panel solicitor or has a commercial arrangement with them. Usually batches of cases are sent to the panel firm and the panel firm could have as little as 24 hours to decide if they want to run your case.
Your panel solicitor may do thousands of similar claims, so can say that they do a lot of a particular type of work - whether it is whiplash claims, motorcycle claims, or car claims. The question for you is how well are they doing their job? Do you trust them?
It is almost impossible for any solicitor to do a proper job where their client does not trust the solicitor’s judgment. Most professional solicitors do not want to keep a client who no longer trusts the quality of the legal advice he or she is receiving.
3. Is your personal injury solicitor never available to talk to you?
Does your solicitor never return your calls or responds to letters? If you have had no contact for months you might be right to be dissatisfied.
Also, trust your instincts. If your appointed representative (who may not even be a solicitor) seems to be getting out of their depth or cannot answer your questions, then change.
4. Has there been a breakdown in communication?
The most common reason for wanting to change solicitors is a breakdown in communication. This may be because the solicitor is too busy, does not care or you are asking questions they either do not like or know the answers to.
Part of the job of a solicitor is to manage a client's expectations and then meet those expectations. Where you are told that nothing can happen for a period of time then you must wait, but at the end of the period you should then be hearing about things happening. You have a right to change solicitors, so you need to consider what you are unhappy about.
5. Is it easy to change solicitors to White Dalton?
It is easier than you think to change solicitors and we frequently take over motorcycle accident claims where motorcyclists feel that their current solicitor doesn't have their best interest at heart or isn't interested in obtaining the maximum and fair level of compensation for injuries caused by a motorbike accident.
These appointed representatives may be paid a small fee by your insurer and cannot put any time, thought or effort into your case - or they just don't get what motorbiking is about. If your solicitor doesn't get it, then things are looking pretty hopeless for you.
6. Will my Legal Expenses Insurance still cover me?
We often find, “Legal Expenses” attached to motorbike insurance is not actually worth the paper it is written on and was only a means of directing people to the insurers panel solicitor. So often, you are not actually covered for anything. In this scenario, we can usually work for you on a Conditional Fee Agreement i.e. a “no win, no fee” basis and arrange to get you a proper Legal Expenses Insurance policy to protect you.
As a point, even if you do have suitable Legal Expenses Insurance, you cannot be forced to use a solicitor against your will, regardless of what your motorbike insurer or legal expenses insurers tell you. You got injured, you are the Client, and you make the decisions.
7. What questions to ask when looking for a new solicitor?
- How much experience do they have of personal injury work and motorbike accidents?
- Do they specialise in personal injury cases or do they do all sorts of legal work?
- Will a qualified personal injury lawyer (solicitor or barrister) be dealing with your case?
8. Why is choosing a solicitor that also rides motorbikes important for a motorcycle accident claim?
In our area of motorcycle claims, one of the most common problems we come across are lawyers or claims handlers who have no idea of the physics and behaviour of motorcycles under braking, accelerating, or cornering. If your lawyer does not understand how your accident happened, how will they ever be able to present your case?
Frankly it's because your solicitor "gets it" - he or she knows why you cannot brake mid corner and steer, why tyres wash out under heavy braking, why damaged kit needs to be replaced and so on.
9. What is the process for changing to White Dalton?
- Decide that you want to change solicitors to White Dalton
- Talk to us so we can run through the reasons you want to change to White Dalton
- Instruct White Dalton to act and you sign a release form
- Your new solicitor at White Dalton will send the release form off to your current solicitors with a formal promise to protect the file
- A few weeks later we should receive your paper case file
All specialist solicitors are used to taking over claims and our procedure is pretty standard across the profession.
Very occasionally the old firm of solicitor’s resists. Often an application to the High Court deals with this in just about every case without ever having to go in front of a Judge. Whilst your panel firm may be quite arrogant on the telephone as to handing over the papers, a High Court summons tends to knock them off their high horse.
I definitely want to change solicitors!
If after reading the above advice you feel that you would rather change solicitors to a professional and specialist motorcycle firm, such as White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors, then call us on 0800 783 6191 or email us to discuss your case with one of our solicitors. You will have a qualified solicitor handling your case who also rides a motorbike.