Beware Of Settling Your Injury Claim TOO Early
North East Solicitor Nathalie Clayton recently secured an award in the sum of £19,000 for a client following an accident he was involved in at work in 2016. It was a case that highlights the fact that an injury could well be undervalued, particular if the case is rushed....
The client was employed as a HGV driver and was unloading a wagon when he hit his head on a mast, which had been left above the crane. He sustained a penetrating injury to the top of his head, which initially appeared to him to be a relatively minor injury. However, in the weeks following the accident, he began to experience severe headaches, vomiting, nausea, memory loss and irritability.
Detailed medical reports were obtained from a Consultant Neurologist and a Consultant Psychiatrist and he was diagnosed as suffering with post-concussional syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The insurers agreed to fund a private course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Treatment to assist with his recovery. The treatment addressed the symptoms of PTSD and provided the client with coping mechanisms to enable him to get on with his day to day life.
It is a case that highlights the fact an injury could be undervalued if the claim is settled at an early stage and/or without obtaining full medical evidence.
We are seeing an increase in the amount of ‘pre-medical’ offers made by insurers. Effectively, this is an offer made at an early stage of the claim before any medical evidence has been obtained. As a result of this the offer tends to have little or no bearing to the injuries actually sustained as the insurers have limited information at this stage.
Pre-medical offers rarely value the claim realistically and are more of a cost -saving exercise for the insurers as if they can settle a claim at an early stage it will save them a lot of money in the long term. The offer is usually low and does not take into account any other losses/expenses that may have been incurred such as any loss of earnings or medical expenses.
The risk of accepting a pre-medical offer is that the claim can be undervalued.
Here at Tilly, Bailey & Irvine, we assess the value of your claim by obtaining detailed medical evidence in the form of a medical report. The report is prepared by a medical expert in the field relevant to the injuries sustained and provides a prognosis as to when you are likely to make a full recovery from your injuries. We use the medical evidence to correctly value your claim and achieve a settlement that properly reflects the injuries sustained and the effect those injuries have had upon your day to day activities.
If you do not have a solicitor representing you and a pre-medical offer has been made we strongly recommend that you seek advice before accepting one as once accepted, it is in full and final settlement of the claim and you would not be able to try and recover additional damages should your injuries not resolve when you expected or turn out to be more significant as in the case above.
If you think you may have a claim for personal injury or an insurer has made you a pre-medical offer and you would like some advice, please contact a member of our team who will be able to assist.