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Thread: Prepare for your next accident....

  1. #1
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER RickS1K's Avatar
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    Prepare for your next accident....

    OK, possibly a slightly dramatic title, but I do mean it. Naturally I hope you never have to make these decisions, but....

    As some of you know, I got SMIDSYd about 3 years ago, and I have finally come to the end of the process and got paid out. I don't think it would be too dramatic to say that the recovery process and especially the legal side of things was far more traumatic than the accident itself, and I am still very angry about the whole affair. Given that I am going to slag off a bunch of solicitors here, I won't name them (PM me), but they were (and might still be) BMW Insurance's preferred partner, (technically they might have been BMW's claim handling agent's preferred partner) which doesn't reflect well on BMW as far as I am concerned. Having never had an accident before I was new to all this, and I think I only made two mistakes, but they set me on a path I couldn't get out of.

    Mistake 1: As nothing was broken in the accident (even though I got taken to hospital by ambulance), I assumed things weren't that bad, and I'd recover quickly. I didn't. It took 18 months to get back to any sort of normal
    Mistake 2: Because of mistake #1, after I'd reported the accident to BMW Insurance, I got called by their agents who passed my details to the solicitors/ambulance chasers I would come to hate. I just went with them cos I didn't know any better...

    ...and that's where you need to prepare - know that you can tell the ambulance chasers to **** off, and know who you are going to call instead. Having someone competent deal with you would, I imagine, be a massive load off your mind...

    I don't know how the claims industry works, so I don't know the economics. All I can say is that I never once got to speak to a qualified solicitor, only to claims handlers, who followed a process, to the letter, with no deviation, soul, empathy, intelligence and most importantly, any degree of competence or consistency. I wasn't impressed from the start, and it was only a couple of weeks in that I knew I'd made a bad choice. However, those first couple of weeks are crucial - a lot of legal stuff happens then, and it accounts for enough of a chunk of the legal fees payable at the end, that I was unable to find another firm to take the case - they all said it 'wasn't economically viable' for them to do so... All in all I have no confidence that the end result was a fair reflection of my injuries. Having said this, injuries appear to be graded on a scale, so as soon as you are categorised you kind of know the range in which you are going to paid in. I suspect insurance companies know that, and pay the min for that class of injury when you go with solicitors that don't give a shit, and know they'll have to fight to contain costs with more switched on firms....

    The last time I spoke to a different firm they mentioned that they were used to such enquiries and I was the second person - that day - complaining about the same firm...

    Needless to say, I know who I'm calling if it ever happens again. By doing this I believe I will forfeit the value in any legal claims cover, as such firms seem to take a % of the payout. In my case the BMW Ins policy meant that 500 of my payout went to the claims agent...maybe it was the accident inspectors...I really don't know who got it in the end. I am convinced that if I'd gone with a more engaged firm on a % I'd have been better off, both financially and mentally.

    So there you are, Be Prepared - know a firm of competent motorcycle injury specialists, and call them as soon as you know you're going to need them.

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  3. #2
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER Huge's Avatar
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    Re: Prepare for your next accident....

    Blimey, Rick. That sounds like a total nightmare. I hope you're able to 'move on' soon after the appalling behaviour of these people.
    Thanks very much for letting us all know.
    Get well soon, pal.
    Cheers
    Hugh

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    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER Kennybush's Avatar
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    Re: Prepare for your next accident....

    Sorry to hear your ordeal Rick, at least it over and done with for you now. Is this what legal expense add on with insurance pays for? I'm lucky to have never needed to make a claim on insurance, but always opt for legal cover, even though I'm not sure what it's for, which fairly adds up, as I have it on a couple of bike policies, and 2 car policies, plus the house insurance as well it think.

  5. #4
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER RickS1K's Avatar
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    Re: Prepare for your next accident....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kennybush View Post
    Sorry to hear your ordeal Rick, at least it over and done with for you now. Is this what legal expense add on with insurance pays for? I'm lucky to have never needed to make a claim on insurance, but always opt for legal cover, even though I'm not sure what it's for, which fairly adds up, as I have it on a couple of bike policies, and 2 car policies, plus the house insurance as well it think.
    Good question, and I don't know the answer to that one (anyone?). There do seem to be two types of solicitors out there, the flat fee (which I had), and those that take a percentage. My current take is, as I'm more likely to go for someone on a % next time, that it doesn't make sense for me to take a legal protection policy, certainly not for a motor policy. I need to check this, but I think home policy's legal cover offers other things, so for now I'm not sure it can put in the same bundle as car/bike policies.

    As unlikely as I think it is, also worth saying that had a solicitor using a % based approach come to the same result as the twats I used, I would have been financially better off with the legal policy, as that limited the money deducted from my payout.

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    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER Flyingscotsman's Avatar
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    Re: Prepare for your next accident....

    My take is that it is worth taking out Legal Cover, but choose your own solicitors not the ones the insurance company recommend, in the same way that you can ask for repairs to be done at a dealer & not the cheapo garage the insurance recommend.

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    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER RickS1K's Avatar
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    Re: Prepare for your next accident....

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingscotsman View Post
    My take is that it is worth taking out Legal Cover, but choose your own solicitors not the ones the insurance company recommend, in the same way that you can ask for repairs to be done at a dealer & not the cheapo garage the insurance recommend.
    Rob, you can of course choose your own solicitors - whether they'll have any interest in the legal insurance policy is the question. Is a legal policy any use if you want to go straight to a company that will only work on a percentage? It did not seem to be not an option when I spoke to other firms - maybe because I'd already started down the other route? I still don't seem to know myself what the legal policy entitles me to!
    Last edited by RickS1K; 23rd October 2018 at 06:19 PM.

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    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER Flyingscotsman's Avatar
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    Re: Prepare for your next accident....

    Quote Originally Posted by RickS1K View Post
    Rob, you can of course choose your own solicitors - whether they'll have any interest in the legal insurance policy is the question. Is a legal policy any use if you want to go straight to a company that will only work on a percentage? It did not seem to be not an option when I spoke to other firms - maybe because I'd already started down the other route? I still don't seem to know myself what the legal policy entitles me to!
    I don't see why a solicitor wouldn't take your case provided their fees were less than level of cover on the Legal Cover. I do see why the insurer would recommend a cheap flat fee solicitor. I once used insurance- recomended solicitors in a no-fault car case. They did eventually sort it out but were rubbish to deal with. Would definitely choose my own in future.

    I think in your case the problem was once you've signed up with one solicitor the insurance won't pay for a second one, so only ones interested want a cut of the claim.

    Sorry to hear your story.

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