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  Solicitors Bude Cornwall   Article - Personal Injury & Accident Claim Advice - 25 Jun 2004 Holsworthy Solicitors

Personal Injury litigation is a specialised area of law although you could be forgiven for having thought otherwise following the number of claims handling companies that have sprung up in recent years.
  Whilst there may be a claim where there’s blame, unfortunate Claimants have also found that in some cases there have also been huge premiums deducted from meagre compensation. And who to complain to? Many Claimants haven’t even met the person representing them, instead dealing with a voice at the end of the phone in another part of the country.

At Paul Finn Solicitors, principal Paul Finn has been representing personal injury and accident Claimants for over 30 years. Martin Curnow, although a new addition to Paul’s team, has been working in this field for over 15 years and has dealt with claims ranging from a few hundred pounds up to £¼ million.

Paul and Martin have witnessed the abolition of legal aid for personal injury and accident claim work, with public funding being generally replaced by conditional fees (No Win No Fee) or before the event insurance.

Most motor insurance policies now include, as standard, legal expenses cover to pursue claims for injuries following a road traffic accident (RTA). Similarly, many household insurance policies include cover to pursue other injury and accident claims. This cover is commonly referred to as before the event (BTE) insurance. Insurers may try and persuade you to use their panel solicitors but European legislation suggests that if you are to commence legal proceedings you should be entitled to nominate the solicitor of your choice. Why would you want to instruct a solicitor in another part of the country when you can instruct a firm local to you?

Unfortunately, so much can be missed in just dealing with matters over the telephone or by correspondence. For example, Martin says “I was consulted by a Claimant who called to see me because he wanted a second opinion on an offer made in his claim. He lived in Cornwall. His solicitor was in another part of the country, they had never met. His solicitor was recommending acceptance of the offer. Our discussion brought out additional information from the Claimant from which it was clear the offer was much too low. The Claimant transferred instructions and within a short space of time we had settled the claim for three times as much as the offer he was being advised to accept. The chances are that the information that he gave me may not have been raised over the course of a brief telephone call”.

If you do not have existing legal expenses cover, you will probably want to proceed with a personal injury (or accident) claim under a No Win No Fee Agreement and purchase after the event (ATE) insurance to protect against having to pay your opponent’s legal costs if you are unsuccessful. Some solicitors advertise the fact that they are “panel” members of a personal injury ATE insurance scheme. However, such schemes generally require the client to purchase ATE insurance only from the insurer running the panel. Paul and Martin looked long and hard at these schemes and took the decision not to join. Paul Finn Solicitors therefore has the freedom to seek insurance cover to suit the individual Claimant.

No two people are alike just as no two accidents are the same. Each injured person has different concerns, different financial constraints and each requires individual advice and assistance. Paul Finn Solicitors understand this and provide a professional yet sympathetic approach to each new Client and claim.

Many firms offer a free ½ hour meeting to consider new claims. Paul’s view is that this is hardly long enough to get through initial introductions and pleasantries. Paul Finn Solicitors therefore offer a free initial meeting of whatever length is necessary for personal injury claims. The office has level access for wheelchairs and a ground floor interview room but if you can’t get to the office, Paul or Martin will come to you, outside of office hours if that is more convenient for you.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault then ring Paul Finn Solicitors on 01288 356256 or email us on - we will give you the individual advice and assistance you require.

Martin Curnow
Head of Litigation, Paul Finn Solicitors
Tel: 01288 356 256
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