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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13888
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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Question for anyone but Jo C. I am looking for some advice

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question for anyone but Jo C.Hi
I am looking for some advice on my insurance claim in UK please.
I made a claim as my car was set on fire and it was passed to a solicitor firm to investigate further.
They are looking into my previous accident which resulted in total loss
1- it was 6 years ago
2- the damage was assessed by 2 assessors, one appointed by claim management company that I was using and the other assessor was appointed by third party insurance and they had access to assess the damage on both cars.
3- they didnt raise any concern about the damage however after 6 years, this in investigators are saying that they are concern about the damage on the car and they have preliminary expert opinion that damage is too much for type of accident.
4- they want to obtain expert opinion about the damage of the car based on photos of both cars .my question:
1- Is an opinion without seeing and examining of car and based on photos (obtained from report of previous assessors who didnot have any concern) plausible in court?
2- what do you advice me to tell them and what is the best strategy to deal with that?
3- Do I need to contact previous assessors (specially those appointed by TP insurance company) and ask them to comment on the damage of the car? (they may not answer me) or what should I do?
thanks
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

I will answer those questions in turn as follows :
1. Yes, a report based on photos is enough generally as the burden of proof is lower in a civil court. The burden of proof is only 51% or "more likely than not", so they don't have to see the vehicle in person to be able to prepare an expert report - the expert just needs to say "in all likelihood" the damage was caused in a particular way, etc.
2. I do not see there is anything you can do - they are entitled to obtain an expert opinion (the expert's report is for the court, not the insurer and not yourself - to help the court make a decision). The court usually needs permission to grant a party permission to obtain an expert report. You could suggest that you want to obtain your own expert report if theirs is likely to be damaging to your case. If you disagree to them obtaining their own report they may apply to the court regardless. But in a large loss claim you should be allowed to obtain your own - the two experts can then meet to discuss a report and prepare a joint report, setting out areas of agreement and disagreement - again, to assist the court.
3. You could try but they may not be willing to help as I do not think they are now involved in this dispute. You could potentially summons the assessor to any court hearing in future to give oral evidence if there was a dispute. But the assessor would not be an independent party - they were appointed by the third party. You mention at point 4 above an expert opinion to be obtained - which would be done by someone independent. So my view is it may not be useful to contact the previous assessor given the need for someone independent to prepare a report (which the court would insist on).

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
thanks for reply. I am abit confused. There has been no court.
The accident has happened regardless of what expert say, but my concern is that what will happen if as you say 49/51% they think against me? why the initial 2 assessors who say the car didnt raise any concern?
Also Am I right to think if the new expert say 49/51% they will apply to Civil court? or Criminal court?
do I need to employ a solicitor to deal with them at this stage? someone told me to ask them to pass this to police if they have any concern.
I am not sure what should I do really
please help
thanks

Sorry, I misunderstood - you asked if an opinion without seeing photos - is plausible in court.
It is a civil court dispute, not criminal. The civil court requires an independent expert like I mentioned earlier.
You could use a solicitor, yes. Not sure why the Police need to be involved here but let me know the reasons and I will give you my opinion.
I can give you details of pro bono solicitors (they will not charge you) and also no win no fee law firms - let me know either way and I will give those details to you.
Thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I am so sorry, when people ask a question, it is usually partial and incomplete and I totally understand that you dont have the full picture.
My car was set on fire last year, as part of validating my claim, they asked me to provide them with details of previous claims, which I did, and they investigators appointed by insurance company are looking into details of previous accidents, basically they are trying to find a way for not paying me.
They had a look at my accident in 2014 and say it has hallmarks of staged accident and are arranging for assessor to prepare a report and this is why I asked the above questions.
thanks
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
what would be their course of action after the new expert opinion? criminal court or civil court or none/either?

Thanks, ***** ***** delve into previous claims. Mainly to see if someone is a serial claimer or not or if there are similarities.
They want an expert opinion - they need one before they issue court proceedings. In a civil case. As the county court (the civil court) will need to see an independent report to be able to make a decision.
It is not a criminal case - they have not applied for a private prosecution nor have they involved the Police.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
can you kindly help me with the name of solicitors that might be able to help me please? including the nowin-nofee ones
thanks
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
last questions, from previous experience, some solicitors are inundated with work and take toooo much work and not paying enough attention to the case, is there any way to see the rating or feedback? do they usually use trustpilot sites? thanks

To my knowledge there isn't - some have Google reviews if you Google their website. The firms I listed are well respected and should be able to help - the larger ones are at the top of that list.

JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13888
Experience: Senior Associate Solicitor
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