Should You Make an Injury Claim Yourself, Without a Solicitor, and Accept an Insurers Offer?

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When you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you don’t have to instruct a solicitor if you want to make a claim for personal injury compensation. You have a legal right to make an injury claim without a solicitor, on your own, usually with an insurer’s claims department. That is, if you know how to go about it with the hope of getting a fair settlement.

Alternatively, a specialist no win no fee personal injury compensation solicitor can represent you. They know how to prepare a comprehensive claim. With their expert advice you can ensure that a fair and just settlement is reached.

In short, you will win a larger settlement for your injury by claiming with a solicitor in comparison to claiming direct with an insurer.

If an insurer has made you an offer to compensate you for your injury, it’s generally not advisable to accept it without seeking expert legal advice. Insurers often undervalue claims, and you may receive significantly less compensation than you’re entitled to.

Claiming directly with an insurer comes with significant risks and potential drawbacks. This guide will explore the pros and cons of claiming without a solicitor and help you understand why expert legal representation is often crucial for securing fair compensation.

How to Claim by Yourself with an Insurance Company

You will deal with an insurer directly if you choose not to instruct a solicitor to claim for you. While this solution works for some people, many others find the experience far from easy. Claimants often come to us after starting a claim on their own, and soon realise the benefits of using a specialist personal injury solicitor.

The obvious problem with having no expert legal advice from a specialist solicitor is knowing what you can claim for. Do you know the difference between general and special damages, for example? When the process starts, do you know what evidence you will need? How will you overcome denials of liability? Are you a good negotiator?

The Process

If you choose to claim without a solicitor, you’ll deal directly with the responsible party’s insurance company. This process typically involves:

  1. Reporting the accident to the insurer: You’ll need to notify the insurer of the accident, providing details about when and where it occurred, and how it happened.
  2. Providing details of your injuries and financial losses: You’ll be required to describe your injuries and provide evidence of any financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of the accident. This might include medical bills, receipts for medication, and proof of lost wages.
  3. Potentially undergoing a medical examination arranged by the insurer: The insurance company may request that you undergo a medical examination with a doctor of their choosing. This is to verify your injuries and assess their severity.
  4. Receiving and considering a settlement offer: Once the insurer has gathered all the information they deem necessary, they will make a settlement offer. You’ll need to decide whether to accept this offer or negotiate for a higher amount.

Throughout this process, you’ll be responsible for gathering and presenting all necessary evidence, understanding legal terminology, and negotiating with the insurer’s representatives.

Common Insurer Tactics

Insurance companies are businesses, and as such, they often employ strategies to minimise payouts and protect their bottom line. Understanding these tactics can help you navigate the claims process more effectively and recognise when you might need professional legal assistance. Some common strategies insurers use include:

  • Delaying responses and prolonging the process: Insurers may take their time responding to your communications or requesting additional information repeatedly. This tactic can wear down claimants, making them more likely to accept a lower offer out of frustration or financial need.
  • Making low initial offers, hoping you’ll accept out of frustration or financial need: Insurers often start with a low settlement offer, knowing that many claimants are eager to resolve their claim quickly. They hope that you’ll accept this offer without fully understanding the true value of your claim.
  • Disputing liability despite clear evidence: Even when fault seems obvious, insurers may argue about liability or suggest that you were partially responsible for the accident. This can be an attempt to reduce the amount they have to pay or to discourage you from pursuing the claim further.
  • Undervaluing the long-term impact of your injuries: Insurers may focus solely on your immediate medical expenses and ignore the potential long-term effects of your injuries. This can result in a settlement that doesn’t account for future medical needs, ongoing pain and suffering, or loss of earning capacity.

By being aware of these tactics, you can better prepare yourself for the claims process and recognise when an insurer might not be acting in your best interests.

When to Consider Claiming by Yourself

While it’s generally advisable to use a solicitor for personal injury claims, there are some situations where claiming directly might be appropriate:

  • For very minor injuries with a clear, quick recovery: If you’ve suffered a minor injury that has healed quickly and completely, and the impact on your life has been minimal, you might consider handling the claim yourself. However, be cautious about assuming an injury is minor, as some issues can develop or worsen over time.
  • When liability is immediately admitted and a fair offer is made: In some clear-cut cases, an insurer might quickly admit liability and make an offer that seems fair based on your injuries and losses. However, it’s still wise to at least consult with a solicitor to ensure the offer truly is fair.

However, even in these cases, it’s wise to at least consult with a solicitor before accepting any offer. Remember, once you accept an offer, you typically can’t go back and ask for more compensation later, even if you realise the settlement was inadequate.

The Disadvantages of Claiming Direct with Insurers

Claiming on your own through an insurer can have a host of disadvantages. We often hear of insurers stalling the process, taking too long to reply and get things moving. Furthermore, derisory offers and flat denials of liability despite witness evidence are commonplace. Most insurers value genuine claims at a far lower rate than a personal injury solicitor knows they are worth.

Additionally, when claiming directly with an insurer, you may not be offered a medical assessment with a suitably qualified doctor. This would provide medical evidence confirming the injuries and a prognosis for recovery. Such reports help to ensure that a fair and just settlement value is agreed. Without expert medical evidence, it is likely that an insurer’s offer may not fully recognise the severity of the injury, or the possibility of pre-existing injuries made worse by the accident.

Potential Problems

While claiming directly with an insurer might seem straightforward, there are several challenges you might face:

  • Lack of legal expertise to properly value your claim: Without a thorough understanding of personal injury law and previous case outcomes, it’s difficult to know if the compensation offered truly reflects the value of your claim.
  • Difficulty in gathering and presenting appropriate evidence: You may not know what evidence is most crucial for your claim or how to present it effectively to support your case.
  • Limited understanding of what damages you can claim for: Personal injury claims can include various types of damages beyond just medical expenses. Without legal knowledge, you might overlook important elements of your claim.
  • Inability to effectively negotiate with experienced insurance adjusters: Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators with extensive experience in minimising payouts. Without legal representation, you may be at a significant disadvantage in these negotiations.
  • Risk of accepting an undervalued settlement: Due to the factors mentioned above, there’s a high risk of accepting a settlement that doesn’t fully compensate you for your injuries and losses.

These potential problems highlight why, even though it’s possible to claim without a solicitor, it’s often not in your best interest to do so. The expertise and experience of a personal injury solicitor can be invaluable in navigating these challenges and securing fair compensation.

Once a claim is settled, it’s settled. Claimants often come to us too late in the day, wondering if they should not have accepted the insurer’s low offer. Having the best advice available from the start is clearly going to be of benefit. Especially when it can be provided on a no win no fee basis.

The Benefits of Using a Personal Injury Solicitor

Working with a no win no fee, personal injury solicitor has many advantages. With their expert advice you have the best chance of getting the maximum amount of compensation. Here’s a more detailed look at the benefits:

Expert Legal Advice

A specialist solicitor brings invaluable expertise to your claim:

  • In-depth understanding of personal injury law: Personal injury law is complex and constantly evolving. A specialist solicitor stays up-to-date with the latest legal developments and can apply this knowledge to your case.
  • Ability to accurately value your claim, including future losses: Solicitors have access to databases of previous settlements and court awards, allowing them to accurately assess the value of your claim based on similar cases.
  • Knowledge of how to gather and present compelling evidence: Solicitors know what evidence is needed to build a strong case and how to present it effectively to insurers or in court.
  • Experience in negotiating with insurance companies: Years of experience dealing with insurers gives solicitors an edge in negotiations, allowing them to counter lowball offers and tactics effectively.

This expertise can be crucial in ensuring that all aspects of your claim are properly considered and that you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.

Comprehensive Medical Evidence

Importantly, with the Direct2Compensation claims process, our specialist solicitors ensure that you undergo a medical assessment with a relevantly qualified doctor. This assessment is paid for by the losing side if you win your claim – if you lose, you don’t pay! You can expect:

  • Examination by a qualified, independent medical expert: Our solicitors can arrange for you to be examined by a medical expert specialising in your type of injury. This expert is independent and their report carries more weight than an assessment arranged by the insurer.
  • Detailed report on your injuries and prognosis: The medical expert will provide a comprehensive report detailing not just your current injuries, but also their expected long-term impact. This is crucial for accurately valuing your claim.
  • Consideration of long-term or permanent effects: The report will consider any potential future complications or ongoing treatment needs, ensuring these are factored into your compensation.

This thorough medical evidence is key to proving the extent of your injuries and securing appropriate compensation.

Maximising Your Compensation

While solicitors charge a fee (typically up to 25% of your compensation under a No Win No Fee agreement), they often secure significantly higher settlements:

  • Skilled negotiation to counter low offers: Solicitors have extensive experience in negotiating with insurance companies. They know how to effectively counter lowball offers and push for fair compensation. This skill alone can often result in settlements that are significantly higher than what you might achieve on your own, even after accounting for the solicitor’s fee.
  • Inclusion of all eligible damages (e.g., loss of earnings, care costs): Personal injury claims can include various types of damages beyond just medical expenses. A solicitor will ensure that all eligible damages are included in your claim. This might cover loss of earnings (both current and future), care costs, travel expenses for medical appointments, and costs for any necessary home modifications. They can also help quantify less tangible damages like pain and suffering.
  • Consideration of future financial impacts: Solicitors think long-term when valuing your claim. They consider not just your current losses, but also potential future impacts. This might include ongoing medical treatment, future surgeries, potential loss of earning capacity, or the need for long-term care. By factoring in these future costs, they can help ensure that your settlement truly covers all the impacts of your injury.

Reduced Stress and Risk

Using a solicitor can make the claims process less stressful:

  • They handle all communication with the insurer: Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful and time-consuming. Your solicitor will handle all communications on your behalf, shielding you from potentially stressful interactions and allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  • You’re protected from making mistakes that could harm your claim: The claims process can be complex, and it’s easy for an inexperienced person to make mistakes that could damage their claim. These might include saying the wrong thing to an insurer, missing important deadlines, or failing to provide crucial evidence. A solicitor helps you avoid these pitfalls.
  • No upfront costs with a No Win No Fee agreement: Many people worry about the cost of legal representation. However, most personal injury solicitors offer No Win No Fee agreements. This means you don’t pay anything upfront, and you only pay if your claim is successful. This arrangement allows you to benefit from expert legal representation without financial risk.

Choosing to instruct a solicitor on a no win no fee basis ensures that your rights are fully protected. Any losses you have incurred will be recovered when you succeed with your claim.

By taking on the responsibilities above, a solicitor not only increases your chances of a fair settlement but also significantly reduces the stress and uncertainty associated with making a personal injury claim.

But What About the Solicitor’s Fees?

Since April 2013, all claimants and claims are forced to abide by the LASPO Act 2012 and the new regulations regarding claims for personal injury compensation. One of the key elements of this law obliges all successful claimants to pay 25% of their settlement towards the costs of their claim.

You may think that claiming directly with an insurer will avoid you making this contribution. However, because a specialist injury compensation solicitor will likely win a larger settlement than you would on your own, this more than makes up for the 25% fee.

So, Should You Accept an Insurer’s Offer of Compensation?

If you are claiming directly with an insurer and don’t have specialist legal representation, you should seek advice before accepting the insurer’s offer.

Why not see how we can help? We often have clients come to us after a month or two of dealing directly with an insurer. Our solicitors are usually able to confirm they can obtain medical evidence and a far larger settlement for the client than they have been offered.

When you make a claim for injury compensation it is important to ensure that you get the maximum settlement available and Direct2Compensation can help with this. Call us on 01225 430285, or if you prefer, .

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming...

I tripped on a Council owned footpath, causing facial injuries, lost teeth, a brain haemorrhage and hospitalisation. 2 other firms of solicitors bottled out because the Council (erroneously) denied the claim on the basis that the public footpath was ‘not a highway’. They did however very quickly repair the trip hazards. Should I now pursue a claim on my own?

I sent this comment to Dial-A-Claim:

Hi Jess, I am disappointed that firms like yours and Express Solicitors are so impotent that as soon as a responsible body (Council) deny a claim, based on erroneous legal bases, these firms give up without any sort of fight. I rapidly reaching the conclusion that these firms want to earn their substantial fees in easy to win cases, where the solicitors are not required to undertake a great deal of work or advocacy. In other words: you’ll take the easy money cases but walk away from others. I am considering writing to the Law Society about this scurrilous approach to such cases.

Ian Morris

It is depressing to read that your claim was handled poorly and that you feel badly let down by the claims company and Solicitors you had instructed.

Sadly, when a Solicitor has been instructed on a claim, it makes switching Solicitors very difficult. This is because it becomes cost prohibitive in many cases for a new Solicitor to take on a case. In No Win No Fee matters, a previous Solicitor – even if they have done a poor job – can demand the costs that they incurred in their handling of the claim are met by the new Solicitor if that Solicitor then goes on to succeed with the claim. Sadly, the restricted fees that the Government imposed on Solicitors pursuing personal injury claims through reforms in the last decade simply make it financially unviable for a new Solicitor to take over a case.

With this in mind, the more complaints to the relevant authorities that are made by claimants let down by poor service the better.


I fractured my ankle on the 21st May 2021 therefore it will be 3 yrs this month as I am still having pain and ongoing issues will you take on this claim?

Ian Morris

Anyone injured in an accident or incident that was not their fault are afforded a period of 3 years within which they can make a claim for personal injury compensation. However, in order for a Solicitor to be able to pursue a claim on a No Win No Fee basis, they generally require a minimum of 6 months of that 3 years to be available. This is because they need time to ensure that they can have all of the relevant evidence in place (time to obtain medical records, time to instruct a medical expert – and receive their report etc) before they would have to risk going to court (which is what you’d have to do on or before the 3 year anniversary to protect the claim from being statute barred). Frustratingly, it is taking longer and longer to obtain medical records and find available experts to report on severity of injury and longer term consequences.

As such, when there is less than 6 months of the 3 years remaining, Solicitors will struggle to see a claim pass the strict risk assessment criteria needed to allow a matter to proceed on a No Win No Fee basis. Frustratingly, this is not because the claim is not strong, but simply that there is no time to get the claim underway in time.


Child injured defendant admits liability. not been settled Insurer make paltry offer. child over 18 heading toward 21st birthday too sick to deal with case lost abililty to communicate in hospital at . is there any deadline to settle does court the court have any role claimant not in position to reject or accept offer from insurer. Does th court have to sign off the claim?Is making a claim open ended interms of deadline for it to be settled.

Ian Morris

Do you have legal representatives dealing with this/. If so, they should be sorting this for you. If the courts are made aware that the claimant is incapacitated, they should be able to process the settlement and ensure it is paid in to an appropriate trust or account in order to protect it for the individuals use in due course.


I am 36 years old and suffering with an aggressive Dupuytren’s Contracture in the left hand which I had diagnosed February 2018, I believe surgery will be required in the next couple of years. My first employment would require me to sand for upto 7hrs a day every day if the job required it, I worked there from 2000-2016. Is it possible to make a claim against my former employer and represent myself, as I now live/work overseas.

Ian Morris

It is possible to represent yourself in any action – of course, having a specialist act for you may make life easier as they will be able to ensure that any legal rights are upheld and that if there has been negligence, it is established and that it is accounted for.

Chat with us for friendly, expert advice 01225 430285