When someone is unfortunate enough to be involved in a Road Traffic Accident, the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to wish it resolved quickly in order to move on with the minimum amount of inconvenience. However, like most things, rushing can have negative consequences.
When the accident was someone else’s fault it is likely that their insurance company will contact you soon after the collision. Typically, the opposing insurer will attempt to capitalise on the confusion and a person’s natural instinct to resolve the matter quickly and in some instances, they have done this using unethical tactics. This is known as third-party capture. When this happens, the insurer will be protecting their own interests in an attempt to minimise damages that are rightly owed. The offers usually come as a small amount whilst insurers claim that it’s an attractive offer that is hassle free.
The consequences of third-party capture are so severe that there has been calls on the Northern Ireland Executive to request an investigation into the practice by the Financial Services Authority. There is a growing concern within the legal sector now that insurers have been seen to be purposely misleading and occasionally hostile when practicing third-party capture.
"The (law) Society has received reports of a number of cases where insurers have misled injured parties" - The Law Society of Northern Ireland
The Law Society of Northern Ireland published a report that highlights how this practice has a detrimental effect, particularly when applied against people that were injured in the collision and remain vulnerable. It has been noted that insurers have been actively discouraging people from seeking legal advice and representation. Without proper legal representation however, the person who was at no fault will likely lose out.
Always lawyer up
A solicitor is in the best possible position to determine what a fair claim settlement should look like. They do this by commissioning medical reports and engineer reports to ascertain the value of a claim, including loss of earnings. Understandably, this form of evidence is vital. Most importantly, they will protect the interests of their client, not the interests of a third-party insurance company wishing to protect its profits.
If you would like to know more about what the Law Society of NI says about third-party capture and read the shocking case-studies about victims of third-party capture, click here.
If you have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident that wasn’t your fault, contact us today for a free enquiry.