It was like hitting a wall and it rattled me to the core. I broke my sternum, smashed my pelvis and ruptured a testicle. The left nut to be precise.

Christmas wasn’t too much fun but I’m alive and I have one healthy working nut and my old boy still works – happy days! I am not too worried as to who was at fault but I am worried about the future and making sure I get the right legal representation. My insurer told me I need use to their panel solicitor. Someone called me from the panel solicitor telling me they are a paralegal. Is this the same as a solicitor? Do I have to use who my insurer tells me to?


Firstly, I’m liking your “happy days” attitude. With regards to representation, despite what anyone says, you are the client; it is your claim and you can choose your own solicitor. If you want to be railroaded by your insurer be very careful what the “panel solicitor” firm tells you regarding the person who will run your case. There are all kinds of titles bandied about such as “litigation specialist” and “paralegal” etc.

In short, none of these equate to the person being a qualified solicitor. In fact they may not have any legal qualifications at all. While there are some very good litigators who are not solicitors there are some very poor ones in my experience so do your homework to make sure someone can do the job properly.

Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly February 2016