Do I have to use the solicitor chosen for me by my insurers? That question cropped up over and over again on the stand sorrymate.com took at the Ally Pally Show.
The one word answer is no. It is your basic right to choose who represents you. People are usually given a solicitor by their insurance company or by a legal expenses company (legal expenses is the extra £10 on your policy). Your insurers will have a panel of firms who they use. These firms generally pay a lot of money for the work and have conditions attached regarding how files are run and who they report to. While this may not create a problem, as the solicitors are still bound by all the rules, it may not be the style of service you want. If that is the case then you simply pick your own solicitor. It is that simple. Sorrymate.com is linked with solicitors who are into bikes and know all about the issues that are specific to bike claims. There are many more out there also.
Also, your insurers or legal expenses insurers may threaten not to cover legal costs if you do not use their lawyers. This is not a problem and any competent solicitor can sort insurance out for you. Your basic right is not limited in any way.
We have decided to change the format of this column from next month. Instead of me expounding on a general subject I am going to tackle your questions. So have you a problem or query and want some advice? If so email us firstname.lastname@example.org (making the subject box Legal Query) or pop your question in the post to us at Motor Cycle Monthly, You and the Law, Freepost DC113. Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6BR.
Fergus Dalgarno, sorrymate.com