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Title: How do I make sure I get a proper lawyer

Date: 04 July 2016

Reading your column in MCN makes me wonder how I would go about ensuring I get a decent bike lawyer if I needed one?

What choice would I have with my insurance company and would it make a difference from one bike insurer to another? Is this something I should take into account when renewing my insurance?

I have no need at present, but I would like to plan ahead, just in case. I would also like to know how I can be sure to get a good bike lawyer if, for example, I were hospitalised and unconscious?

Don't get me wrong, I am fearing the worst, but I read so many horror stories of claims being dealt with in poor way.

Jeff, by email

Answer

Most insurance companies have commercial agreements in place with specific law firms to send all accident claims involving their policyholders to them. Very few of these firms specialise in motorcycle accidents and the majority employ unqualified staff (typical titles include ‘paralegal’ or ‘litigation executive’) to handle the bulk of claims and keep costs down.

Regardless of any agreement your insurer has with a law firm, you will always be entitled to your own choice of solicitors. I would therefore recommend carrying out your own research in order to find the best solicitors to represent you. This would include finding solicitors who specialise in the area of law in which you need representation, which in your case would be motorcycle accident solicitors, reading online reviews or testimonials, and asking if your case would be dealt with by a solicitor. Have a look at the cases the firm has dealt with recently to satisfy yourself they know what they are doing.

In the unfortunate event that you were ever seriously injured as described, your wife or a close family member could instruct solicitors on your behalf and act as your ‘litigation friend’ until you regained consciousness. Although an unpleasant thought it may be worth letting your loved ones know who you would like to represent you if the worst were ever to happen.

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