Injury compensation is a complex subject.
Following an accident that was not your fault where the other party has contacted their insurer, those insurers might contact you and attempt to settle your compensation claim directly with you.
You might, therefore, find yourself asking “why should I use a lawyer to handle my personal injury claim?”
The insurer might try and steer you away from seeking independent legal advice suggesting that a lawyer will delay matters and make things more complicated. They could also make you what appears to be an attractive offer of settlement.
Fair level of compensation
If this happens how would you assess the offer? How would you determine if it was a fair level of injury compensation? Often, an insurer knowing that you do not have a lawyer to represent you will make an offer much lower than the true value of your claim.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to assess any offers received on your behalf using guidance used by Judges and previously settled and decided cases with similar injuries to accurately consider the value of your claim.
A few months after accepting an offer directly from an insurer, you might find that you are still suffering or need treatment such as physiotherapy. Unfortunately, once you have accepted an offer that is in full and final settlement of your claim you would not be able to return for further compensation or funding for any treatment required as a result of your injuries. You would end up having to fund any required treatment yourself. It is likely that, if you continue to suffer, an offer that you have accepted directly from an insurer will not have been enough to properly compensate you for your injuries.
Disputing the offer
If you receive an offer from an insurer and you want to dispute it, how would you go about this and on what basis would it be? A personal injury lawyer will be able to negotiate a higher offer of settlement on your behalf and will often have years of experience dealing with insurance companies.
A final matter to consider is what would happen if court proceedings need to be issued? Even in a case where liability is admitted there are a number of reasons where it would be necessary to issue proceedings. An admission of liability could be withdrawn, or negotiations might be too low and not lead to a settlement. Court proceedings must also usually be commenced within 3 years of an injury, so what happens if you are approaching that time limit? Would you be comfortable in drafting the necessary court papers and dealing with the court yourself or would you prefer to rest assured knowing that a personal injury lawyer was dealing with the complicated process on your behalf?
If you have been injured in an accident on the road, at work or in a public place, check out all your options before accepting any direct offer of settlement. No win no fee is usually available. Call and speak to our personal injury team on 01302 320621.