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Title: Hold firm and don't settle for less than your claim is worth

Date: 29 May 2013

Question

I was knocked off my motorcycle going into a roundabout. My bike was written off. The driver responsible admitted fault. I have received money for my bike but not for my injuries. The solicitors who contacted me were related to my insurer and they approached me rather than me choosing them. For the past 18 months I have been undergoing treatment at my GP and hospital including surgery to my wrist. I have not ridden a bike since as the thought terrifies me.

Whenever I think about it I cry uncontrollably. I am finding it hard to move on mentally. I have been offered £5,000 but I can’t believe this is right. My solicitor has asked me what I want to offer but he’s the solicitor, not me! What should I tell him?

Sue Haigh, Portsmouth

Answer

It is not for your solicitor to ask you how much you think your claim is worth. That is their job. He should be taking steps to properly value your claim and it is essential in your case to obtain medical evidence from a consultant psychiatrist as well as an orthopaedic surgeon. I am worried that your solicitor does not know what he is doing and you need to arrange a meeting to discuss your claim in detail otherwise you could end up with an under settlement.

It sounds like you would benefit from counselling to get you over the fear and tearfulness that you are experiencing. For example cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help. If you have an untreatable phobic anxiety disorder then you may be entitled to claim the future increased travel costs of having to drive a car rather than bike if applicable.

Speak to your solicitor and insist on a meeting and if you remain unhappy then seek an alternative firm.

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