Motorists in Northern Ireland could benefit from a new scheme launched by the Law Society of Northern Ireland, The Claims Advice Service. We here at John J McNally & Co are members of the new scheme and can provide this service to our clients.
The Claims Advice Service has been launched in partnership with some of Northern Ireland’s leading insurance companies and will offer motorists a comprehensive service if they have been involved in a road traffic accident.
Increasingly injured parties are being approached by Claims Management Companies who offer to arrange for a replacement car, the repair of your vehicle and to nominate a solicitor to act on your behalf. This cover is generally offered in Northern Ireland when the car owner brings their vehicle to the garage for repair. In the immediate aftermath of an accident such assistance may be welcomed. However, by availing of such services you may expose yourself to significant and unnecessary costs and liabilities.
If you wish to have the use of a replacement vehicle, the Claims Management Company will require you to enter into a credit hire agreement with the provider of the vehicle under which you will have potential personal liabilities. If your claim is unsuccessful, these may be significant. Even if you are successful, you may be unable to recover all of the charges for the car hire from the ‘at fault’ party as some Claims Management Companies charge a hire fee higher than ‘the going rate’ for car hire. In these circumstances you may be personally liable for these charges. Similar problems may also arise with regard to car repair costs.
The Claims Management Company may refer you to a firm of solicitors to handle your claim. They may insist that you instruct a firm from their panel of solicitors rather than your own solicitors.
You should be aware that:
You are under no obligation to accept their choice of solicitor.
You are free at all times to instruct your own solicitors.
This is where the new Northern Ireland Law Society Claims Advice Service is crucial. We, as your solicitors, are here to represent you and you alone!
We will assist you in obtaining:
- A replacement vehicle
- Quick and efficient repair of your vehicle
- Maximum compensation for any injuries you may have sustained.
You should NEVER under any circumstances settle a claim for personal injuries without the benefit of a medical report and independent legal advice.
Failure to consult your own solicitors, when approached directly by an insurance representative, will almost certainly result in you receiving less than your full entitlement for any personal injuries you may sustain.
You should NEVER allow an Insurance Company to pressurise you into accepting less than your case is worth.
As a valued client we advise that you contact John J McNally and Co solicitors by phone or by email without delay if you have been involved in an accident.
Remember Your first call after a car accident should always be to John J McNally & Co
Whatever you are intending to do about your accident, actions you should always take include:-
Inform the emergency services if necessary – 999
Move away from the damaged cars to somewhere safe
Call the PSNI if anyone is injured
Record the registration number of the vehicles involved
Exchange information with the other person(s) involved- names, addresses, telephone numbers, insurance information- name of company and policy
Get the names addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses
Take pictures of the accident using a camera phone or digital camera
CALL YOUR SOLICITOR IMMEDIATELY
Report it to your insurance company as soon as is possible afterwards. The insurance policy may be invalid if an accident is not reported promptly.
Report any injury to your doctor, because it could become more serious. You should do this even if the injury seems minor. If you subsequently go to court to get compensation for the injury, the doctor may be asked to provide a medical report.