What is “Third-Party Capture”?

Posted by Administrator 13 Jan 11

Third-Party Capture, also known as “Third-Party Assistance” is the practice carried out by insurers of settling injury claims directly from the pursuers who have had a collision with their policy holder, without their pursuer/victim receiving independent advise.

This is an extremely contentious issue between pursuers representatives and insurance company’s, with both putting forward arguments, in the pursuers case that this practice leads to under settlement of legitimate claims, the insurers stating that it cuts out unnecessary costs and that the settlements are fair and quickly received by the injured person.

There are however numerous reported instances of apparent abuse of this practice by insurers, and it would certainly appear that on approaching an injured person without that person being given any independent advice that there is a blatant conflict of interest on the insurer’s part.

Legal Solution Partnership in Luton advised of the following case where they were instructed to deal with a serious road traffic accident on behalf of a teenage girl.  This client had been a passenger in a car which was driven into a tree and had suffered a fractured spine along with complicated internal injuries.

“The insurance company’s rep contacted the girl’s mother by mobile telephone, met her in a local cafe, and sent her text messages.  He offered to settle the girl’s claim for £8,000.  He said it would be good to get it all wrapped up early.  He made no mention of how he had come to this figure, nor whether legal advice might be appropriate.

Another tactic was to try to induce settlement by dangling the expenses carrot – immediate payment, including her loss of earning, if they could agree settlement of the whole claim.  The mother was in dire straights having not worked for a month (or so) because of the need to look after her daughter.

No mention was made of the need for court approval.

The girl’s mother did not accept the offer.  While we don’t know the value of the claim yet, it looks likely to be in six figures”.

Quantum Claims would encourage any injured person who is contacted directly by a third-party insurance company with a view to settling their claim, to seek independent advice.

Quantum Claims has on numerous instances represented clients where an initial offer and settlement has been received directly from the third-party insurer, where upon our involvement has lead to an increased settlement sum being obtained.

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