There are a number of dangers in accepting an insurance company’s early stage offer of compensation for your injuries and losses. All too often, people who make this mistake fall victim to insurer opportunism and consequently lose out on their full entitlement to compensation. Instead it is important that you speak directly with a qualified, experienced and independent personal injury solicitor who can help you ensure the best and fullest possible settlement.
An offer of compensation made directly by an insurance company may be of a significantly lower value than the kind of settlement which an accident compensation solicitor might help you achieve; similarly it may fall some way below any compensation order that might be made by the relevant Scottish Court. Additionally, the offer may not include compensation for all losses sustained, including compensation for inconvenience, property damage and services provided by family members to name but a few.
Don't become liable for your employer's losses
If you took time off work as a result of the injuries you sustained in an accident that was not your employer's fault, your employer may be entitled to claim compensation for the sick pay they paid to you. Although this compensation is usually paid by the defendant's insurers, if you do not give your employers a chance to claim back sick pay before accepting an offer of compensation from an insurance company, you may become directly responsible for repaying the sick pay.
Prepare for all prognoses
Some insurance companies will offer you a reduced settlement in the aftermath of an accident in order to try to minimise the amount of compensation they have to pay. Early offers made by insurance companies are often accepted on a full and final basis; this means you cannot make an additional claim at a later stage should your injuries develop complications or unforeseen consequences that cause you to suffer more than you initially expected. Avoid accepting these early stage settlements to ensure that the long-term prognosis of your injuries is fully accounted for.
Give yourself time for advice and diagnosis following a car crash
If you have been involved in a car crash and sustained whiplash injury you may not be able to tell without a medical expert's advice whether your symptoms are going to last a week, a month, a year or more. Without specialist advice you may accept an offer of compensation that does not adequately reflect the extent of your injury, pain, suffering and losses. Don’t let an insurance company rush or pressure you in to accepting a low offer.
Case studies - it may not be too late
Even if you have accepted a low offer from an insurance company in the immediate aftermath of a road accident, Thompsons may still be able to help. We acted for a client who had accepted an offer of £500 compensation that she had received from the insurers by way of text message. In the circumstances of her case we were able to show that her acceptance of the offer was not legally valid. After obtaining medical evidence on behalf of our client confirming her injuries, we raised a Court action. The insurers later agreed to pay an additional £1,500 compensation.
In another case, Thompsons’ client received an offer of compensation of £1,346 from the third party insurance company four days after her accident. Soon afterwards she signed an acceptance form. When her injuries persisted, she contacted us for help. Thompsons took matters up on her behalf on the grounds that the third party insurance company had acted improperly in the way they had made the offer to our client. Medical evidence of the injuries was obtained and a Court action was ultimately raised, following which the third party insurance company paid an additional £5,000 compensation.
Help today for a brighter future
Thompsons is the largest personal injury firm in Scotland and can lend you all the authority and expertise you need to give you your case the best possible chance of a successful outcome. We win around 90% of the claims we taken on and each week secure around £1 million in compensation for our clients. Unlike an insurance company, we take steps to ensure we are fully abreast of every detail that is pertinent to your case.
Call our specialist accident compensation solicitors for free on 0800 0891 331 or complete the compensation claim form and we will assist you on a No Win No Fee basis which means there will be NO cost to you in the event that your calim is unsuccessful.