Do I have to use solicitors appointed by the ‘other side’?
I had a bad accident in January 2015. I had multiple fractures to both legs and was in hospital for six weeks. Early on, the insurer of the car that hit me wrote to me telling me that they have instructed solicitors to act for me. Back then I was grateful as it was one thing less to worry about. However, as time goes on they don’t seem to be getting anywhere and I am now thinking that they are not acting in my interests as they are being paid by the insurer of the driver who hit me. What should I do?
Ken Harries, Newport
Answered by Andrew Campbell, Solicitor and author of the MCN Law column.
Your concern is reasonable. Irrespective of the fact that solicitors have a duty to act in the best interests of their clients there will always be the concern over a conflict of interest here. You need to ensure that you obtain completely independent advice and I would ask another firm to take over conduct of your case for you. That way you can be sure you are getting truly independent advice and can be confident of a fair settlement when the time is right.
You can transfer your claim to another firm of solicitors free of charge. All you have to do is sign a form of authority and your new firm will send that to the old firm requesting the file. It sounds to me that you need rehabilitation which the proposed Defendant’s insurer should agree to provide at no cost assuming liability is not in dispute. Remember you are entitled to private treatment/surgery and don’t be worried if your opponent suggests you must go through the NHS, as this is not correct. I suggest switching firms as soon as possible.