Why not to settle a personal injury claim without legal advice

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Who are BL Claims Solicitors

BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

We are rated as one of the top firms in the UK and believe in speaking to our clients in jargon-free language and ensuring you're speaking to a highly qualified lawyer right from the outset

People injured in accidents often think about pursuing a claim for compensation. Having had the initial thought, they then need to consider where to turn for advice.

Many are influenced by advertisements on the television or, particularly in the case of road traffic accidents, they may be contacted by their insurer.  Some turn direct to lawyers.There are many aspects to a personal injury claim and speed of settlement is not one.

Personal injury claims are far more complicated than you may think. However, unfortunately (in my opinion) there are occasions when injured people feel pressurised to accept an early settlement.  It may be that money is tight and an early offer of compensation seems attractive. But be careful of this approach. In the early days of any accident it is not possible (without a crystal ball that is) to know if and when an injured party is going to recover.  Even with an obvious catastrophic injury there is far more to consider in terms of day to day future living and care requirements than compensation for the injury alone.

Personally, my main area of concern are cases where one may be tempted to accept an early offer in settlement because their claims are considered to be "low value".But how do we really know when an injured party will recover and so deem the claim "low value"? Will they recover in 1 day? 1 week? 1 month? 1 year? Or never? I have acted for so many clients whereby their medical prognosis is that they are expected to recover in a set period of time. However, there is always a risk that they will not and, as such, they may be severely under compensated by settling their claim too early.  What if it turns out that they can never work again?  What if they have suffered an underlying brain injury which was not apparent at the time?  How is it possible to tell in the early days? Neither lawyers, nor insurers, are medical experts and it is simply not possible.

Of course it is always my client's choice as to whether or not they chose to settle early or delay until they know if and when they will recover.  If they chose to settle early then my firm will receive their fees.  If they chose to delay, then my firm will usually receive their fees when the claim settles.  Yes, I have targets.  But my advice to my client will always consider their best interests, not whether or not I hit my target.  If I believe that it is in their interest to delay settlement then I shall advise them so.  I don't have a crystal ball either!  But the choice is for my client who has now been provided with professional advice and can make a balanced judgment.

As to "low value".  What is low value?  Any claim is low value in its early days.  But let me give you just one example of an unexpected injury arising out of a simple bump to the head.  Not a fall.  Just walking into a glass window.  Yes, a low value claim on first appearance.  However, my client subsequently lost their sense of taste and smell which is believed to be due to the trauma. Puts a different slant on things doesn't it?  If the mantra of not seeking a lawyer's advice and settling fast is to be followed, do you honestly think my client would have been compensated accordingly?

Do not forget, if money is tight we can always request an interim payment to soften the financial pain.   

BL Claims Solicitors are here to help

If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at info@blclaims.co.uk