You may have noticed that many firms of solicitors who deal with road traffic accidents recommend that in the event of a road traffic accident you should call the solicitor before your own insurers. At Wanstalls we give the same advice to prospective clients but why?
In this country the automatic reaction of most people involved in a road traffic accident is to call their own insurance company. If you have fully comprehensive insurance your own insurers will arrange for the repairs to your car, they may provide a replacement vehicle and if you have been injured they will want to refer your personal injury claim to their own chosen solicitors.
If the accident was your fault then the only choice that you will have is to get your own insurers to deal with the repairs to your car or pay you the value of your car if it is written off.
If the accident was not your fault then by calling your own insurers you are quite likely to have to pay your excess when your car is repaired or it will be deducted from the amount you receive for your car if it is written off. Until the cost of repairs or the value of the vehicle is recovered from the other driver’s insurers then your no claims discount will be affected unless it is protected.
By contrast if you call Wanstalls first after your accident we can advise you straight away on the options available to you. Only one of which is to contact your own insurers.
If the accident is quite clearly not your fault then one option that might be best for you is for Wanstalls to contact the other driver’s insurers and get them to deal with the repairs to your car or pay the value should your car be a write off. If the other driver’s insurers can see that their insured is clearly at fault then they will usually be very happy to deal with getting your car repaired.
The other driver’s insurers will also be very keen to provide you with a replacement vehicle as this will enable them to control the cost of providing a replacement rather than running the risk of the replacement being provided by another company which would cost them more.
I have helped many client’s in this way by contacting the other driver’s insurers and arranging repair of my client’s car and a replacement vehicle either immediately after the accident if the car is undriveable or while the car is away being repaired. In this way my client has not had to pay their excess nor has there been any affect on their no claims discount as they have not made a claim on their own insurance.
Many solicitors also have contacts with accident management companies who represent a third option. An accident management company can arrange vehicle replacement and repairs to the vehicle recovering the cost of the vehicle and the repairs form the at fault driver’s insurers. Again the client does not have to pay their excess and their no claims discount is not affected.
Your own insurers will be very keen to deal with your personal injury claim by referring it to their own chosen solicitors. The reason for this is that they will receive a substantial referral fee from the solicitors they refer your case too. The solicitors that your claim is referred too may be anywhere in the country and invariably will be one of the very large firms where your claim will be handled by an unqualified junior member of staff.
By calling Wanstalls first you are making your own choice of solicitor and can benefit from having your claim handled by an experienced solicitor where communication between you and the person dealing with your claim will be much better.
Wanstalls will discuss with you what is the best option for you to get your car back on the road with the minimum of inconvenience and without paying your excess or causing problems with your no claims discount.
There is an obligation to report your accident to your own insurance company but we will advise you on this as you may only need to report it for “information purposes only” once we have agreed with you the best course of action for you.
The bottom line is that by calling Wanstalls first you have access to a range of choices and an experienced solicitor to advise you on what the choices are and the best way forward for you.
Call us first after your road traffic accident as we will advise you without charge or obligation on the best way forward for you.
Ian Wanstall – Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanstalls Solicitors are based in County Durham in the North East of England. We represent clients both locally and nationwide and offer a friendly personalised service. If you would like to discuss any aspect of a personal injury claim, we would be delighted to hear from you.