LONDON, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
A new campaign to ensure innocent injured victims are not "mugged" by insurers has been welcomed by leading personal injury specialists Fentons Solicitors.
Senior partner Kieran Maguire commended the Law Society's newly launched advertising campaign - which carries the strap-line "Don't get mugged by an insurer - use a solicitor" - for highlighting that injury victims should not accept the first offer of compensation made by insurers.
"This is something we ourselves have been saying for some time," said Kieran. "We are pleased the Law Society has taken this stance, and we are keen to support it and lend our own voice to underline the warning that victims should not settle their claim until they have sought independent legal advice."
According to the Law Society, research obtained from the Financial Services Authority under a freedom of information challenge revealed that personal injury claimants who turned down an insurer's initial offer and took legal advice from a solicitor, went on to get on average three times more compensation.
"As a leading UK personal injury firm, Fentons Personal Injury Solicitors handles thousands of claims for injured people across the country every year," said Kieran. "We have noticed a worrying increase in the number of clients who tell us they have been approached by the defendants with what appears to be a very low offer, sometimes within a few days of their injury.
"In one recent case, for example, a woman who was seriously injured in a car accident was contacted by the defendant's insurer and was offered £500 to settle her car accident claim in full," he said. "After engaging the services of a specialist lawyer, she settled her case for more than £37,000. It is this kind of inexcusably low offer that consumers need to beware, but moreover the insurers simply need to stop trying to deliberately settle claims for thousands of pounds less than their true value."
"In many of the cases we handle - as borne out by the Law Society's research - the claimant has gone on to receive several times the amount of compensation they were first offered after seeking specialist legal advice," said Kieran. "But it still begs the worrying question as to how many other victims are accepting these inappropriately low offers and being massively under-compensated for their injuries?"
Kieran said that the new campaign comes at a time when accident victims and their solicitors are consistently being blamed by insurers over the spiralling cost of premiums. "Insurers really need to look closely at their own actions," he said. "It would seem that insurers are seeking to deny injured policyholders the right to a fair level of compensation."
The Law Society said the campaign was deliberately taking a bold, humorous and memorable approach to convey an important message.
"People who take out an insurance policy should be able to have faith," said Kieran, "that when they are unfortunate enough to need to make a claim, the level of compensation will be calculated fairly, and not simply at the lowest amount that their insurer can get away with. That's the message the Law Society is driving home in this new campaign, and it is one we wholeheartedly support."
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