Personal Injury Claims: Understanding Before the Event Insurance (BTE)

Tue 11th Jul 2023

BTE protects claimants from legal fees incurred when pursuing a personal injury claim. Are you covered?

Should you find yourself needing to make a personal injury or clinical negligence claim, then Before The Event (BTE) insurance can cover the legal costs. This isn’t something you need to go out and buy, in fact, you might already have this if you have contents or motor insurance, for example. This insurance covers the legal costs associated with pursuing a personal injury claim.

But what exactly is BTE insurance and how can it help with personal injury and clinical negligence claims?

Before the Event (BTE) Insurance

Before the Event insurance is part and parcel of many insurance policies which you have most likely already taken out. It is rare that this will be sold to you as a sole form of insurance. BTE is included in car or home insurance policies, so this is something to look out for in your existing policies or before starting a new one.

BTE will cover legal fees and additional costs allowing you to freely pursue a claim. It can empower an individual to seek out the compensation they are entitled too. The insurance mostly lends itself to covering solicitors’ fees and expenses, witness fees and court fees.

Generally, adults have three years from the date of the accident to bring about a claim. Policies will differ however it is recommended that a person notifies their insurer as soon after the injury as possible.

However, if you don’t have this insurance cover and you still wish to pursue a claim your solicitors will be able to take out an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy to help cover the legal costs.

Pursuing a claim

If you would like to pursue a claim, then your first point of call should be to seek legal advice. This way, you will be able to find out what options are available to you such as BTE or ATE insurance.

If you do make a claim through your existing BTE insurance provider, they may recommend a solicitor to you that handles the proceedings. Many people aren’t aware that they do not have to go ahead with the insurance company’s solicitors. This is set out under the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations Act 1990. While some may assume it’s easier and cheaper to use the insurer’s choice with BTE insurance there are some downsides.

Something to keep in mind is that an insurer-appointed solicitor is unlikely to be local to Devon or Cornwall. It is also very unlikely that you will ever be able to have a face-to-face appointment. This may mean having to relieve the trauma of an accident over impersonal channels such as phone or email. Obviously, this will entirely be down to personal preference. However, if you are somebody who is more comfortable discussing difficult details to a familiar, friendly face—this is something to consider.

Secondly, if you do decide to find your own solicitor, do some thorough research beforehand. You should ensure they have experience of dealing with your type of claim. Lawyers without personal injury claim experience could result in you not receiving the damages you are entitled to. Specialist personal injury lawyers will be able to advise on whether you have a claim from the get-go. They will be able to thoroughly argue your case and remain confident in settlement negotiations.

Personal injury claim solicitors

We receive numerous calls from clients who want our expert Personal Injury team to act for them as they feel let down by their current solicitor. When cases stall, we find that many clients struggle to get hold of their lawyers or that the firm has settled for a lower value claim than the client hoped for.

It’s important to remember that you are not locked into your insurer’s chosen solicitor with BTE insurance. When you start a claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (no-win no-fee) but are unhappy you can change firms. However, you may not be able to do so until you have personally paid the costs for the work already undertaken by your existing solicitors.

During an upsetting time, you want to be able to trust that your solicitors will continue to pursue compensation while you focus on recovery. In choosing your own firm, they can also consider the long term future of your case as well. For instance, you may want advice on setting up a Personal Injury Trust Fund to protect your state benefits following an accident. Similarly, if your circumstances have changed you may even need to update your will.

Coodes Solicitors

At Coodes Solicitors we have a dedicated Personal Injury Team and Clinical Negligence Team who will be able to guide you through the compensation claim process while looking towards the future. If you have questions about a BTE insurance policy or personal injury/clinical negligence claims, please get in contact with us so that we can discuss them with you. We are local, with offices across Devon and Cornwall, as well as being available through other channels too. We are here to help however you may need. Coodes Solicitors are also accredited members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

For more information on Before the Event insurance or personal injury claims, please contact Catherine Hyde from Coodes Solicitors’ Personal Injury Team on 01326 318 900 or by emailing: catherine.hyde@coodes.co.uk

Tue 11th Jul 2023

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