Drivers pressured to settle claims

Motorists pressured by insurance companies

15.06.2009

A leading safety charity has said that motorists are being pressured by some insurance companies into settling claims just hours after accidents have occurred.

Drivers normally have their insurance firm get in contact with someone else's if they are involved in an incident which is not their fault.

But road safety charity Brake is concerned that people are being forcefully encouraged to take a pay-out before getting legal or medical advice.

The Motor Accident Solicitors' Society and Brake have made calls to sharpen the rules on how firms treat so-called "third parties".

However, the insurance industry says that such interventions are only undertaken in order for claimants to receive compensation quickly, without having to resort to lengthy and costly legal processes.

Brake spokesperson Jane Horton said that direct and unsolicited contact should not be made by insurers, adding: "It's as if having been made a victim once...you're then being made a victim twice by then being approached when you're not really equipped to deal with it."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Helen Seabury from law firm Irwin Mitchell said "I urge individuals who have sustained injuries in a road traffic accident to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor to ensure that they are adequately compensated for their injuries."