QUESTION: Should I Accept the First Compensation Offer I receive?
We specialise in helping victims of injury claim the compensation they may be entitled to. Should you accept the First Compensation Offer you receive? We can guide you on that.
Should I Accept the First Compensation Offer I receive?
Before your personal injury lawyer submits your request for compensation to the other party they will talk to you about what an appropriate amount of compensation is. This figure is based on your circumstances and what other similar recent compensation payments in the UK. The Judicial College publishes a document called “Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases”, which is now in its thirteenth edition. If your offer falls within the level you have agreed, then your solicitor may advise you to accept it.
Some questions need to be considered before a fair amount of compensation can be decided. These include:
- What is your prognosis for a full recovery and by when? Are you likely to suffer ongoing pain for months, years, or forever?
- What has your injury cost you in lost wages, travel expenses, medical costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses?
- Who was liable? Initial offers made from insurance companies often state split liability, even if you were no way at fault.
- What are the guidelines from the Judicial College?
The Importance of Evidence
In addition to your post-accident medical records and police report (if the police attended the scene of your accident), your lawyer will also speak to any witnesses to your accident to help verify and substantiate your version of events. Depending on your injury, they may also arrange for you to have an independent medical examination to show the extent of your injury and your prognosis, and describe the impact this has had on your life.
Without evidence, a claim can become little more than your word against that of the other party, making it harder to disprove if they state you were at least partially responsible for your injuries. The stronger your initial case, the faster your claim is likely to be resolved and the higher the amount your payment can be.
Receiving an Unsolicited Offer from an Insurance Company
We occasionally receive calls from people who have only recently had an accident. They have yet had a chance to seek legal advice yet have been contacted with an offer of compensation from the other party’s insurance company. Their question is whether the initial and unsolicited offer is fair and acceptable. In virtually every instance, the answer is “no”. An insurance company will not offer you money before you have asked for it unless they believe it will benefit them financially by having to pay you less at a later date.
In such cases, we have gone on to work with specialist personal injury lawyers to obtain a far higher payment for the client.
How is an Offer Received?
Any offer of compensation needs to be made in writing for it to be binding, detailing the amount and any deductions such as those for split liability. It is called a “Part 36 offer” as the legislation it conforms to is the Part 36 Civil Procedures Rule 1998. Once the offer is made, you have 21 days to decide whether or not to accept it. You should always take legal advice before accepting a Part 36 offer, especially if you have a conditional fee agreement or are using an insurance policy to cover your legal expenses, as you may find you invalidate your contract.
The Compensation Experts offer a free, no-obligation consultation so contact us today if you have received an offer of compensation and don’t know what to do, or you have any other questions about making a claim for personal injury.
Am I eligible?
If you have been harmed physically in the last 3 years, due to someone else’s negligence, the short answer is yes.
Exceptions to this are for instance industrial disease or if you were a child at the time of the accident you may have a longer period to claim.Find out more
How much could I claim?
As every injury is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ case to case. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: extent of your injuries, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our dedicated team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim for.Find out more
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be keep up to date every step of the way.Find out more