# Gray Hooper Holt LLP Solicitors

Danger of DIY - personal Injury

Many of us like to think that we can turn our hand to a given task. If we are not sure how to do something, it is usually possible to find a blog or video which will provide basic instructions from which we can work out what needs to be done. We can ask a friend for guidance. If you get it right, you can stand back, satisfied that it is a job well done. However, when it goes wrong, you wish that you had called in a professional. Despite your best efforts, doing it wrong can end up costing you a lot of money and grief. This is not only true of house or car maintenance; it is also true of trying to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation when you have been in a road traffic accident.

The process of making a claim for personal injuries may appear to be relatively straightforward. You tell the other driver’s insurance company that you have been involved in an accident and you tell them why you feel they should compensate you. All being well, they confirm that their insured driver was responsible for your accident and that they will deal with your claim. You may be told that you don’t need a lawyer because they, the insurers, will take care of everything. They will supply you with a hire car for which you won’t have to pay anything. They will make you an offer for your written off car or have it repaired at their garage. They will arrange medical treatment. They will arrange for you to be examined by their medical expert and they will make you an offer in settlement of your claim. They will tell you that if you follow their guidance, you won’t have to pay any lawyer’s fees and you will receive 100% of your compensation. They may tell you that you can go to a lawyer but the lawyer will take a percentage of your damages. Sounds great, but what is the reality?

The other driver’s Insurance companies owe you no duty of care as a Claimant for compensation. Their duty is to their shareholders and stakeholders. They are a business like any other business and they want to make a profit. If they have to deal with a claim, they will want to keep that claim as low as possible. I’m not suggesting that insurers go out of their way to avoid meeting claims. You may very well think that, I can’t possibly comment.

I know this from my own experience. I had an accident involving a lorry in 2017. My car was written off. I was offered a hire car. I was then told by the engineer that the driver of the lorry held me responsible. Thankfully, I didn’t take up the offer of the replacement car otherwise the insurance company might have come after me for the hire charges. I bought a replacement car expecting the insurance company to pay the write off value. They delayed and I had to borrow the money. They provided initial treatment but when I needed more, they refused to pay for it. An application to the court for funds was necessary. This is how insurance companies deal with claims. How good do think your DIY skills would be if you came up against this. Best advice, get in a professional.

July 2019