Understandably one of the Claimant’s first priorities is getting their matter settled as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here at Ralli Solicitors, we get this; it is also one of our key principles. We want to prevent delays and satisfy our clients.
However, in some instances there are scenarios where we would rather sit tight and wait to make sure that when we are negotiating settlement, we are confident it is for an amount that reflects our client’s injuries. The insurance companies want to settle as soon as possible and for the least amount of money possible and because of this they make what is known as pre-medical offers (an offer that does not require sight of any medical evidence), which is essentially dangling the carrot on a stick and hoping the Claimant bites.
Whilst this looks like an ideal situation where the Claim settles quickly, the Claimant does not need to attend any appointments and there are no delays. This is what the insurance companies want you to think. The reason these offers are made is to keep costs to a minimum, they hope the Claimant will take the pre-medical offer, which is predominately on the low side in the hope that they do not have to pay the Claimant more at a later date when any injuries are properly diagnosed and by which time there may be treatment or investigation costs.
Our advice for suffering clients is to wait and see what an expert says as that pre-medical offer of £1,000 may look appealing at first, but it does not look as appealing as it could have been had we waited for an expert to provide a full prognosis which could have increased the valuation of the claim by double, treble or potentially more.
Taking our time even comes into consideration once medical evidence is obtained. If the expert says the injuries will take 12 months to recover, our advice will always be to wait and make sure that the expert is right. Everyone can make mistakes and medical experts are no exception.
If we have settled on the 12 month prognosis that the expert predicted and then the client gets to the end of that prognosis and finds themselves still in pain and suffering, we cannot re-open their claim to get more compensation. On the flip side of this, we may get to the end of the prognosis and the client has fully recovered and the claim is worth the same as if we had settled when the report came in, but at least we have the certainty that we are settling the claim for the true value.