CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Ralos
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CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby Ralos » 20 May 2015, 1:21pm

I'm looking for the same answer(s) and this is my recent experience:

I recently (11/5/15) suffered injury and bike damage when a motor vehicle turned in on me on a main road. It overtook me and then immediately turned left into a driveway taking me down. I was discharged from hospital with fractured rib(s) which is very painful and a broken bike (newly built titanium). Luckily I have a witness and the other party seems to be admitting liability.

Being a member of a cycling club on a club run and with CTC Affiliate membership I called their accident helpline ...0844 736 8452 which connects you with Slater & Gordon lawyers. They took down my details including my CTC membership number and said they would get back to me. They returned my call the next day and informed me that after checking with CTC my Affiliate Membership did not qualify me for the CTC legal helpline or any CTC support for my claim. However they said that subject to further investigation they might be prepared to take me on as a private client on a 'no win no fee basis'. This means they normally take 25% of any settlement to cover their fees.

I was a bit surprised and disappointed thinking that the CTC would be more helpful when a member is injured in a road traffic accident, so I called CTC to clarify the situation. They confirmed the position outlined by Slater & Gordon that our Affiliate membership does not qualify for any legal or insurance support when you have suffered injury or bike damage caused by a third party but only when you have caused injury or damage to a third party. They said you need to be a 'Full Member' to qualify for their legal helpline and CTC support. This is confirmed on their website under membership details.....'Please note that only full membership provides access to our free legal advice claims service'.

In other words if you suffer an accident caused by a third party e.g. being hit by motor car like I was then you could be on your own. This could lead to a very difficult situation if there are no witnesses in your favour or the other party does not accept liability. Luckily I had an independent witness and the third party seems to be admitting liability. Upon checking my household insurance policy (Direct Line Home Insurance Plus) I am also covered for legal costs up to £100,000 to assist in any claim as long as there is at least a 51% chance of winning so I am hoping they will assist me.

I am interested to know if any posters have previous experiences or recommendations for insurance they can share.

PH
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership & Insurance?

Postby PH » 20 May 2015, 3:05pm

Ralos wrote:However they said that subject to further investigation they might be prepared to take me on as a private client on a 'no win no fee basis'. This means they normally take 25% of any settlement to cover their fees.

I'm a bit surprised by this, I thought the losing side paid all the solicitors fees. As with all big law firms (And S&G are huge) the level of service you get is dependent on the solicitor and staff dealing with your claim, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the service I got from S&G. If in need of assistance again I'd be going to one of the smaller companies who advertise cycling specialism, despite me being a full CTC member.
On the question of benefits for affiliated members, there's already not much of a difference to justify the large difference in costs, to the extent that people are leaving full membership to take up affiliated.
Hope your injuries heal soon and you get a fair settlement without too much trouble.

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admin
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership & Insurance?

Postby admin » 20 May 2015, 5:03pm

Couldn't you just join as a full CTC member for a year? Then you'd get the free legal advice because you'd be a full member.

Ralos
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership & Insurance?

Postby Ralos » 20 May 2015, 5:08pm

Thanks for replies, I note that Wiggle have a scheme up and running now....http://legal.wiggle.co.uk/, but be prepared for 25% coming out of your settlement. It seems to be the norm with these type of legal firms. I'll see how I get on with Direct Line now thanks.

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Re: CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby PH » 21 May 2015, 12:48am

Little bit of research and it seems the rules changed in 2013. The success fee (Which is on top of the normal fee and meant to be for taking the risk of loosing cases) is no longer paid by the defendant but by the claimant out of their compensation award, the maximum is 25% but excludes the amount awarded for long term care. This isn't anything to do with CTC membership or which solicitors you use, it's a change in the law
http://www.justice.gov.uk/civil-justice ... in-changes
This was all news to me, but I expect the deal being offered to CTC members by S&G is the same as that being offered to none members, does anyone know?

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robgul
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby robgul » 21 May 2015, 8:36am

The offer of the private client etc and ensuing comment is all a bit of a red herring.

It seems pretty clear from the membership criteria - you get what you pay for :

CTC FULL membership gets you the legal stuff with the helpline and claims on your behalf.

CTC AFFILIATE membership at less than half the price doesn't get you the legal stuff.

Rob
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Cytech accredited mechanic . . . and woodworker

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Re: CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby Graham » 21 May 2015, 9:00am

It is useful to highlight that the affiliated membership buys lesser benefits.

While working on the CTC Helpdesk (phoneline) many years ago we received many call from people who did not understand the what the CTC Third-party insurance covered and which service to use in the event of an Road Traffic incident.
e.g. Does the CTC insurance cover the theft of my bike ( and/or accessories ) ?? No, it only covers any liabilities for claims against you - from some other person.

Despite our best efforts on this Forum ( notably Thirdcrank ) we still have great difficulty in understanding the specific advantages of access to the CTC Legal Assistance Facility compared to directly approaching some other legal firm.
Maybe we did get to the heart of that matter, but I don't think I could even find the last word on that one ? ! ?

thirdcrank
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby thirdcrank » 21 May 2015, 9:36am

re the changes to "no win, no fee" I think gaz has been more up-to-date than I have been on the subject of so-called "success fees." Having said that, I'm not sure that membership of the CTC would have affected the 25% thing (a point already made above.)

The CTC arrangement with Slater and Gordon is a collective contingency fee scheme, whereby the upfront costs are met by the sponsor, in this case the CTC rather than the injured party who would otherwise pay "after the event" (ATE) insurance to get indemnity against the risk of losing the case. Bearing in mind that that insurance is dependent on the solicitors certifying that there's a better than 50% chance of winning the case, the same would have applied had the OP been a full CTC member. ie Full CTC membership does not and could not guarantee that all cases, no matter how weak will be pursued.

I have posted before that collective contingency fee arrangements, which are the norm with trades unions etc., are not popular with insurers, who tend to be the people with most to lose from litigation: see "compensation culture." There were suggestions that they would be banned or restricted in some way.

The general advice must surely be to read the detail of what you are signing up for before you sign, especially if it involves insurance or similar stuff. It's hardly realistic to expect that a reduced price version of anything will include everything that comes with paying top whack.

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honesty
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby honesty » 21 May 2015, 9:38am

My wife works for a company call Harris Fowler, so obviously I'd say they are brilliant, but it may be worth giving them a call...

thirdcrank
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby thirdcrank » 21 May 2015, 9:47am

honesty wrote:My wife works for a company call Harris Fowler, so obviously I'd say they are brilliant, but it may be worth giving them a call...


I've just checked and I'll note that this is a firm of solicitors, which I believe is "a good thing" although that's not a comment on the firm mentioned. The point is that many of the ads on daytime telly etc are from claims handlers, who will get your details then instruct lawyers on your behalf. An extra layer of admin and potentially more commission/ fees ultimately payable by the injured party.

In the "too good to lose - non-technical" section, there's one from me which includes a link to a piece on selecting a personal injury lawyer, written by the Cycling Silk, AKA Martin Porter QC. I'd strongly recommend anybody looking for a PI lawyer to read his advice first. (He's a leading personal injury barrister.)

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49627

PS while digging out that link, I've remembered that my thread also has a useful post from another PI lawyer. All good stuff.
Last edited by thirdcrank on 21 May 2015, 9:52am, edited 1 time in total.

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honesty
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Re: CTC Affiliate membership => No CTC Legal Help service

Postby honesty » 21 May 2015, 9:49am

Yep they are, and have at least one of their staff members who rides with Somerset road club as well, which I guess helps.