An Interview with the First Response Team

15th Jul 2021

An Interview with the First Response Team

When you contact Watermans to pursue a claim for compensation, you will first speak to a member of our First Response team. At Watermans Solicitors, we specialise in claims relating to road traffic accidentsaccidents at workCredit Hire, beauty treatment claimsdental claimshistoric abuse, motorcycle accidents and public liability claims. Our First Response Team are the initial point of contact to all clients and provide an empathetic ear as they talk you through the stages of setting up a case.

We want to highlight the amazing work our First Responders do, and to give you an insight into how they are providing vital assistance to both our solicitors and our clients.

How would you describe your role at Watermans?

Tracy: I am a dedicated member of staff within Waterman’s personal injury team. The First Response Team can help you to start your claim, providing reassurance that Watermans Solicitors are with you every step of the way until final settlement is awarded. We advise you on all aspects of making a claim and can organise rehabilitation and physiotherapy for our clients.

Sean: I’ve always felt the best way to describe my role is one of being a ‘Meeter & Greeter.’ Prospective clients come to Watermans via external referral companies, through our own website, or by word of mouth. Before the lockdown, local new clients, would occasionally come to our office in person. However, the phone is still our most important work tool after our desktops. Before prospective new Clients can come on board, I will carry out our initial stages of the claims process, to ensure we are able to progress the enquiry, into the next level. I then set up a new claim and allocating it to a Solicitor or Claim Handler, to pursue for our client.

Watermans reception

What are some of the challenges that you face?

Tracy: Speaking with a vast range of different clients everyday challenges me as I find it is very important to support clients in any way I can. I feel the main aspects of my job working with clients are showing empathy, listening well and being very patient and understanding. It is important for me to remain focused on the clients and remain professional at all times.

Sean: For me, the biggest challenge, is managing a new client’s expectations. Other companies can sometimes paint an inaccurate picture of what the claims processes is. A client’s expectations have to be balanced out with the realities of their situation. At Watermans, every claim is weighed up on its own set of circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Have you seen a rise in claim enquiries since lockdown began to ease?

Tracy: The start of lockdown has changed a lot for all businesses, but Waterman’s has managed to keep a steady client base, despite less traffic on the roads.

Sean: At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a massive upswing in claims, despite the roads being busier and people moving around more. Things haven’t returned to ‘Business as Usual’ just yet but we’re getting there.

Watermans valuesAre you able to tell straight away if a case will be accepted?

Tracy: I feel I have very good knowledge on which claims will be successful or not. I am very confident in deciding whether we should take a claim on, but we do have to run the details of some cases through a senior solicitor at times to gain their professional advice.

Sean: I often have ‘Gut Feeling’ about new claims. This can be based on a number of things I can recognise in a new clients description of events.

How do you handle hearing constant descriptions of difficult circumstances and still remain positive for each person that calls?

Sean: I personally wipe the slate clean, with each new client and often actually say to them, that this is “their new case,” and we can’t just assume similar descriptions or circumstances, will always lead to the same outcome and a positive result or settlement.

Tracy: Every case that comes into the business is different and at times some case details can be harrowing and difficult to hear. However, we have to remain calm and professional at all times as our main goal is to support the client in achieving a positive result with their case.

What are some of the highlights of your job?

Tracy: A highlight of my work is helping our clients to achieve a positive outcome, especially for those who have been injured. Providing them with specialist help, knowing that they are being given the right care to aid recovery, gives me a lot of job satisfaction.

Sean: For me personally, a highlight is being at the start of a process, which will eventually get a new client the justice and financial assistance they might need. Over the many years I have worked at Watermans, I have spoken toto many a client who has suffered a life changing injury, through no fault of their own and without our Claim Handlers & Solicitors might not receive the specialist help and financial assistance they are going to need, possibly for the rest of their lives.

What are some of the key skills, personality traits and experience required to be a member of the First Response Team?

Sean: I personally have a strong background in Retail Sales & Marketing, Sales & Product Knowledge Training. Being able to talk to all people, at their own pace & level, is extremely important. Having the confidence, to reassure a new client, that they have come to the right place, at the right time.

Tracy: Having 35 years of experience working in sales has provided me with a various set of skills. An important one is knowing how to relate to people and get on the same level with them. If clients are unsure about going forward with a claim, I find I am able to support them and give them confidence to do so, sharing with them the benefits of being on board with Watermans.

How do you ensure that a client understands the claim process?

Tracy: We discuss all avenues of the process, clarifying anything the client are unsure of. I ensure that I am thorough in each step along the way, in order to maintain accuracy, which will ultimately benefit the client in the end.

Sean: Essentially in a phone-based interview, they can be re-assured that to kick-start their journey, this has to be based on accurate and completely honest answers from them.

Click here to see how Personal Injury compensation is calculated

What advice would you give to those looking to make a claim?

Watermans OfficeTracy: It is better to come on board with a solicitor for an injury claim rather than through the insurance company. Third-party insurance companies will give a pre-medical offer, which is unfair as your injuries may be on-going and you don’t yet know the extent of them. Watermans ask you to attend a medical consultation where a report will be complied on your injury. This will be sent to the third-party insurance company.  For any settlement offered, the medical report will have been taken into account.

Sean: Sit down, with a coffee or tea and jot down as much as you can remember about what happened.

  • Check a calendar or diary for the correct day of the accident / collision / event.
  • Think about where this actually happened? The location is very important.
  • If vehicles are involved, get registration numbers. Without correct registration numbers, insurance details can’t be easily verified and checked.
  • If the Police are involved, obtain a Case or Reference number, either from the Officers attending or from the Police Scotland non-emergency number.
  • Witnesses, if present, can often make or break a new Claim, so names & contact numbers will be very important.
  • Are Dash-Cams or CCTV available?

Obviously, all of this is based on circumstances. If a new Client is being transported in the back of an Ambulance, after a collision, much of the above will simply not be available. But the harsh reality is, the more information we get at the beginning of a new claim, the better the chances of success at the end of it.

Have you have been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and feel that you might be entitled to compensationContact Watermans Solicitors today to discuss our no-win-no-fee claims process! You can start your claim process via our website or call 0131 555 7055/0141 430 7055