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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Text Appeal?

Have you had a text asking you why you haven’t claimed your £3521.00 for the accident you suffered 2 years ago? Or something similar?

 I seem to get about one a week which I completely ignore because I haven’t had an accident since I fell off my bike on the way to work in 1982.

Or have you had a telephone call at home asking if you have had an accident in the last three years? My mum got one a few weeks ago, asking if my late father wanted to pursue a claim for an accident at work. He had retired in the last 1980s! I was visiting at the time and took the phone from here. When I pursued them for details of who they were the call was ended abruptly.

These call come from what are known as claims farmers who collect details of accident claimants which they then sell on to solicitors. This type of conduct is what has led to the call for the banning of referral fees. Cold calling is, however, already barred and solicitors are not permitted to pay any agency for cases which come from this form of very direct marketing. Presumably this is why my caller rang off in a hurry.

Now there are some very reputable Claims Management Companies who have opened the door to many victims who would not have pursued cases. The Underdog campaign is one example.

But the unsolicited texts and calls and texts are what give victims and their lawyers a bad name. They open the door to those who want to promote the idea of a compensation culture – especially the insurance industry who want to reduce the number of cases, for obvious reasons.

So if you get one of these texts it is probably best to ignore it. If you have actually had an accident then seek legal advice. As a lawyer, I’m bound to say that but it is what we are here for and it rarely costs anything. Responding to a text just gets you to a lawyer via a middle-man (or woman!).

If you get a phone call then ask who they are, how they got your details, and if they are registered with the Ministry of Justice.

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