I imagine that most of you reading this blog will be well aware that Christmas is approaching. Shops have all their decorations up and have made it only too clear that Christmas is coming. City centres have begun putting up their decorations up as well, and television already has so many Christmas adverts. In fact, I might go so far as to say that we cannot get away from the fact that Christmas is almost upon us!
Christmas is a time for giving; but unfortunately giving can sometimes cost a fair bit of money, especially if you have children, or a close but extended family.
Insurers are only too aware of this fact as we at The Injury Lawyers know only too well. If you have an injury claim, given the time of year and money being that little bit tighter, it is not uncommon for an insurer to put forward an offer to settle your claim now at an early stage in the case. This is what we call a pre-medical offer – an offer to settle your claim, made by the third party, before you have had a chance to obtain medical evidence in support of your injuries. In other words, it is an offer, by the insurer, to get rid of your claim as soon as they can.
Insurers will make these pre-medical offers because, if accepted, it often means that they can get away from your claim cheaply. In other words, settle it now and it might cost them £1,000, whereas in 6 months time and with medical evidence, it may cost them £2,000. Christmas time is an ideal opportunity for insurers to get claims settled. People are short of money or could do with a bit more money and may well be tempted to take the money and run, as it were; get the claim over and done with and have that little bit more cash in their back pocket. There is nothing wrong with accepting pre-medical offers so long as it is a considered decision. Let me explain.
A pre-medical offer is an offer made without there being medical evidence to support your case. Medical evidence could demonstrate that your claim is worth £3,000, whereas the pre-medical offer is £1,500. In other words, by accepting the £1,500 you could be under settling your claim by £1,500 – your receiving half of what you could have received by settling too early. Further, if you accept the pre-medical offer now, your claim is settled. There is no going back for more compensation. Had you have waited for a medical report to be compiled you may have found out that you are unlikely to recover for a further six months. It may turn out that the suffering was longer and you deserve more compensation than you settled for; but there is nothing that can be done now to get that extra compensation – your claim is settled.
At The Injury Lawyers we are aware that some insurers may try and use the time of year to settle your claim early. We always inform our clients of offers and will provide them with our expert advice; but ultimately the decision is yours as to whether you accept any offer that may be on the table. At The Injury Lawyers we can only ask that our clients consider their options carefully and realise that there is the potential to under settle your claim at this early stage.
If you have received a pre-medical offer or an offer from an insurer where you have not yet asked a lawyer to act on your behalf and want some free legal advice, get in touch today on 0800 634 75 75.