Accepting an under-value offer for your personal injury compensation claim involves settling it for less than it is worth. Sometimes this is a good idea – a solicitor can help you decide when to make this decision.
A solicitor from Scot Accident Claims can give a realistic assessment of how much your claim is worth and how long it may take to resolve. You may need to wait until you have fully recovered from your injuries to determine the extent of the impact on your life.
Your solicitor will then give you a 100% valuation (‘best-case scenario’) for your claim. This valuation is based on medical evidence and can be used as a benchmark, against which you can measure any settlement offers.
Our team of accident claim lawyers are available throughout the week for a free phone consultation. Just fill out our website form and we will be in touch within 24 hours.
Judges determine your compensation amount – not solicitors. Therefore, valuations should be realistic estimates, but may not accurately reflect the final amount awarded.
Judges base their decision on factors like the amount of damages usually paid to people with similar injuries, the amount of wages you lost, whether services have been provided by relatives, and other expenses such as travel costs.
However, weighing up these factors is often described as ‘more of an art than a science’. The final sum they decide on is often one which people can reasonably disagree on.
There is a variety of reasons why you might accept a under value offer.
A judge may determine there is no liability, so your claim will fail. Even if there is liability, there is a litigation risk on both sides – for the compensation paid to be a lower or higher value than predicted. A settlement offer may encourage claimants to settle early to avoid the risk of getting either nothing, or a lower amount than predicted.
It may be alleged that the person claiming compensation is also at fault for their injuries, perhaps due to their failure to properly protect themselves from risks. If a counter-claim is successful on this basis, a judge reduces their compensation received by a certain percentage. Some percentages can be confidently predicted, others less so. A claimant may be offered a reduced settlement on its basis.
If a court action is raised, the claimant may face a Minute of Tender, which can undermine or destroy the claim. The Minute offers the claimant an amount to settle the claim which is lower than the valuation. The sum offered will account for some or all of the three issues described above.
The Minute puts pressure on the claimant to accept it, because if the claimant chooses not to accept it and the court then awards them less than this amount, they will suffer a penalty in court costs. However, if the amount offered by the judge is higher than the Tender amount, it has no effect.
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