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Should I take the first offer of PI compensation?

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Hi all

 

Three weeks ago I was hit from behind whilst stationery at traffic lights. The driver was doing about 60 in a 40 zone, had been driving in the oncoming lane and upon their return to the proper lane, hadn't given themselves time to brake sufficiently and went straight into my bumper.

 

I did attend hospital on the day, with a blood pressure of 180/107 and some pains forming in my neck, back and hips.

 

Fast forward a couple of weeks and those pains have gone, so have the headaches and the 'confusion'.

 

I am due to see a physiotherapist this coming Monday, but with the 3rd party insurer admitting full liability and to pay all costs without question, they have pre-empted the PI claim and offered £1,700.

 

I've told two people about this and they tell me that's quite a low sum. I imagine it is, but what I would like to know is, what sort of sum should be acceptable? The principle of the matter is that the driver who hit me was driving like an absolute lunatic, and I had to deal with a significant amount of paperwork, phone calls and messing about with hire cars that I obviously wouldnl't have had to do if I hadn't been hit in the first place.

 

 

Thanks in advance

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Thanks, if I were to hold out there wouldn't be much more based on the injuries I sustained. Probably best taking that plus the expenses I incurred.

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I work in personal injury. If you are being made an offer 3 weeks after the crash, then they are trying to entice you with an offer to get you off their books and it means that your claim has been undervalued.

 

Although you may feel that you have made a full recovery, if in 6, 9 or 12 months time you develop ongoing issues as a direct result of ths crash and you have signed a full and final settlement, you cannot then go back and demand more money unless you sue for professional negligence.

 

You claim is being handled under the portal system on fixed costs (this is the protocol for claims up to £25K in value) which in itself is not the issue, it is the fact that you are being fobbed off.

 

Are you using a claims management or your insurerance firm to represent you? If so, that explains a lot.

 

Each injury has a value. They are classified as Minor, moderate and catastrophic and each category has a lower and upper level. Only a Doctor can determine what category you fall into.

 

Your claim also has 2 elements

 

General damages as I have explained above but which also covers a payment for pain and suffering and loss of amenity.

 

Special damages which covers all your out of pocket expenses such as damaged property, loss of earnings, travel expenses, prescription costs and so on, in fact any expense incurred as a result of the defendants negligence.

 

Only your legal representative can give you a figure that is considered reasonable for the injuries you sustained, so go back to them, but as a guide, genuine whiplash cases usually settle for around the £3,000 - £5,000 mark.

 

Hope that is of some help?

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Thanks for your detailed response T.C.

 

It's all as I suspected then, I am being undercut to satisfy their own cost gains rather than offered a suitable sum for the wide array of issues I had at the time plus the absolute faffing about afterwards.

 

I paid for motor legal cover on top of my insurance. Best £28 I've spent. It's not a claims management firm per sé, it's being dealt with by the solicitors appointed under the legal cover. I didn't actively pursue one of those claims companies as I don't particularly class myself as an ambulance chaser, but the principle of the matter here is that I did get knocked about a fair bit and I did attend hospital after I was hit.

 

I have a physio appointment on Tuesday so I'll see what they say. I already have two pre existing issues, shoulder/neck and knee, so I suspect there may be more to it than just the injuries from the crash.

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. I already have two pre existing issues, shoulder/neck and knee, so I suspect there may be more to it than just the injuries from the crash.

 

This can 'cut both ways'. You might expect them to say "ahh, it wasn't our client's actions ; the problem was likely to occur regardless even without the incident", but at the same time they have to "take you as they find you" ; if the consequences are worse because you had a pre-disopsition to injury, but wouldn't have happened "but for" the incident - they are on the hook for the more severe consequences, not "just those that would have happened to a person without pre-disposition to injury".

 

I paid for motor legal cover on top of my insurance. Best £28 I've spent. It's not a claims management firm per sé, it's being dealt with by the solicitors appointed under the legal cover.

 

Be glad you have legal cover ; if it starts to get complex and "falls out of the portal" you might be right about "Best £28 I've spent"!

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Be glad you have legal cover ; if it starts to get complex and "falls out of the portal" you might be right about "Best £28 I've spent"!

 

Actually it is probably the worst £28 you might spend. If it falls out of the portal, it simply reverts to multi track but even portal cases are funded under a CFA, you don't need LEI to get funding.

 

I have covered this subject before (maybe worth looking for) but the bottom line is legal expenses insurance is a rip off.

 

If you are involved in a crash that is not your fault, you can choose a solicitor of your choosing, and getting your case funded on a no win no fee (conditional fee agreement) means that they will fight your corner on th basis that if they don't win they don't get paid, whereas legal exenses appointed solicitors will do the minimum work for maximum fees, they will often undervalue your case for a quick settlement to get you off their books and you probably will not deal with the same fee earner twice.

 

If you have a crash, you have to have a minimum of third party insurance in place to cover any damage or injury you cause to property or people in the event that the crash is your fault.. So the issue does not arise.

 

However, if the crash is not your fault, then you can get funding under a CFA (no win no fee) even for damage only crashes, and you choose who you want to represent you, not one of the waste of space claims management firms with a dodgy solicitor on their pocket or one that is owned by the insurance company.

 

LEI is just a way that insurers make more money out of you, and then get you to use their panel in the event of a claim usually resulting in an under valuation and the case being rushed as I have already mentioned.

 

Under a CFA, if the solicitors don't do their job and win their case, they don't get paid (remember their costs are paid by the third party when you win and is on top of your compensation).

 

On top of that, you probably already have several LEI policies, House contents, buildings etc, but the bottom line is it may be worth retaining one policy for things like employment issues, but for motoring? Get rid of it.

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Actually it is probably the worst £28 you might spend. If it falls out of the portal, it simply reverts to multi track but even portal cases are funded under a CFA, you don't need LEI to get funding.

 

"are funded under a CFA, or "MIGHT get funded under a CFA" (but more on this below.........)

 

I have covered this subject before (maybe worth looking for) but the bottom line is legal expenses insurance is a rip off.

 

If you are involved in a crash that is not your fault, you can choose a solicitor of your choosing, and getting your case funded on a no win no fee (conditional fee agreement) means that they will fight your corner on th basis that if they don't win they don't get paid, whereas legal exenses appointed solicitors will do the minimum work for maximum fees, they will often undervalue your case for a quick settlement to get you off their books and you probably will not deal with the same fee earner twice.

 

I know of cases where such poor service has been alleged, funded under CFA's rather than BTE insurance.

 

Under a CFA, if the solicitors don't do their job and win their case, they don't get paid

 

How is that different between a CFA with ATE (after the event) insurance, and a claim with BTE (before the event) insurance?

 

(remember their costs are paid by the third party when you win and is on top of your compensation).

 

Except there is a "success fee" as part of the CFA, which can be up to 100% of the costs paid by the third party, and that does come out of the claimants compensation.

 

"Ahh, but what about the cap?" I hear you ask.

Yes, there is a cap on the success fee (of 25% of the 'non-future' damages, so general damages and past special damages, but not future special damages), for personal injury claims. Great for limiting the success fee from eroding all the damages but it brings its own problems .....

 

Returning to the "might get funded under a CFA" issue : no firm can be forced to take on a case under a CFA.

If you have BTE insurance they agree to take on your case (subject to the conditions of your insurance), so if you have a case with a 90% chance of success ; hard for them to decline it.

 

Case with a 90% chance of success : it sounds like many firms would love to take it on under a CFA.

Hang on though : that is mostly on liability ... but what if it gets tricky on quantum?.

What if there will be complexity (so quite a bit of work), and the possibility of only fairly modest damages ...... how many firms will still take the case on under a CFA, when the cap on their success fee makes it not worth the combination of the risk with the low damages ......

So, using a CFA is an option when the likely damages are high, but the claimant may find no-one is interested in a CFA when the (general / past special) damages are low......

 

Returning to ATE insurance: that premium also comes out of any compensation.

 

Cost of ATE vs. BTE insurance?. with BTE insurance the load for the total premiums is spread across many more people ("everyone who signs up" vs. "those making the claim"). £28 BTE premium is probably way lower than the ATE premium (which likely will be 'stage-based', increasing in increments the closer it comes to trial.....)

 

Sure, those paying for BTE and never making a claim don't benefit from using the cover, but instead they benefit from the 'peace of mind' the cover gives : the whole rationale behind taking out an insurance.

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Are you a solicitor or legally qualified? You work in personal injury law do you? :?:

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Are you a solicitor or legally qualified? You work in personal injury law do you? :?:

 

I'm not a solicitor (trainee or qualified).

(Nor am I a barrister, bar pupil, para-legal, or a member of ILEX in any of its classes).

I do no paid work in personal injury law. Oh, and I don't work in insurance / get paid by an insurance company.

 

I have no vested interest, but then again, even if I did, surely, what matters more is if my points are valid or not.

If I'm wrong ; discuss where I'm wrong (and then it wouldn't matter what my work is, or who I work for)

If I'm not wrong - would it matter what my work / job title are?.

 

It seems that if I disagree with someone, one of the responses I can expect is "ahh, you have a vested interest for your employer", either stated overtly, or 'hinted at'.

If that wasn't what you were suggesting ; (see above) why does it matter?

 

Would you prefer to discuss people's backgrounds, or concentrate on the issues?

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As somebody working on the Defendant side of the PI fence I can play devils advocate here.

 

Firstly I'd be very surprised if with an admission of liability the third party insurer will have made a commitment to 'pay all costs without question'. What if you hired a Ferrari at a grand a day whilst your own car was being repaired?? (I say that assuming you weren't driving a Ferrari or something similar!).

 

Secondly an offer being made after 3 weeks isn't necessarily mean that 'your claim has been undervalued'.

 

What it means is they're making an offer without any medical evidence (which in my view is reckless - for all anyone knows your claim could be valued less than what's been offered). If you go for your medical exam and the report details a 3 week exacerbation to existing injuries, then personally I wouldn't advise a Client to offer as much as £1,700 for general damages. (By the way this is on the assumption that you tell the medical examiner the same as us - i.e. that 3 weeks later the pain is gone.).

 

So, until you have medical evidence - i.e. the solicitors arrange for a medical examination and a report is produced - neither you, I, Bazza or T.C. or the other side's insurers know if the offer is reasonable. For that reason your solicitors have probably recommended that you don't accept, and rightly so. Heed the advice of your solicitors.

 

My advice to you regarding generals. Be honest with the medical examiner and once the medical report has been received, make sure you check it carefully. Again from experience I've gotten medical evidence struck out at trial for what seem like fairly trivial inaccuracies at an early stage (e.g. failure to disclose a pre-existing condition).

 

"Special damages which covers all your out of pocket expenses such as damaged property, loss of earnings, travel expenses, prescription costs and so on, in fact any expense incurred as a result of the defendants negligence." - With regards to your special damages, the best advice I can give you is keep all the evidence and pass it to your solicitors. Without evidence of these losses you should fully expect questions to be raised by the Defendant solicitors/insurers and for the whole saga to be prolonged - i.e. those losses won't be paid 'without question'.

 

All the talk above about the claim exiting the portal etc is very much jumping the gun in my view. You've said above that your symptoms have got better after 3 weeks. Even if they last 6-12 months, I think it is highly unlikely - in light of the additional costs - that the claim will exit the Portal process unless your medical evidence throws up something extraordinary. If the claim does happen to fall out of the Portal I see no reason here why it shouldn't remain in the Fast Track (unless you did hire that Ferrari at a grand a day lol).

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Would you prefer to discuss people's backgrounds, or concentrate on the issues?

 

I was simply interested on the basis that you were/are making a statement of fact and it appears that you are making these comments based on your professional legal knowledge and experience.

 

So thank you for answering

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So, until you have medical evidence - i.e. the solicitors arrange for a medical examination and a report is produced - neither you, I, Bazza or T.C. or the other side's insurers know if the offer is reasonable. For that reason your solicitors have probably recommended that you don't accept, and rightly so.

 

I wasn't intending to offer an opinion on if the settlement offer was reasonable (and didn't think I had done so).

My intent was to highlight why BTE insurance can be a good thing, and cheaper than ATE insurance (even offering value for 'peace of mind' even if it doesn't get called upon).

 

I was simply interested on the basis that you were/are making a statement of fact and it appears that you are making these comments based on your professional legal knowledge and experience.

 

So thank you for answering

 

One can have experience without being paid while obtaining it .........

As for a statement of fact, the fact based statement on the 'cap' is based on LASPO 2012 and CFA Order 2013.

If those facts are wrong, please state where ......

 

I then moved from the facts to my opinion of what those facts could mean ... and it can be easier to diagree with opinions ....

 

However, you still haven't said that

a) my points aren't correct ..... where my knowledge / experience might be called into question, or my reasons for making a wrong statement might have resulted from bias, or

b) agreed that my points are correct, with or without (again) hinting at bias.

If I'm right, does it matter what my knowledge / experience are, and how I came by it?.

 

A novel concept: Schrödinger's advocate. You can have the person whose view you are discussing in the quantum state of being both right and wrong at the same time by merely ignoring the issue and not 'opening the box', (a technique beloved of politicians when they dodge questions....)

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"I wasn't intending to offer an opinion on if the settlement offer was reasonable (and didn't think I had done so)."

 

 

 

I know, I just included everyone who had commented to reinforce the point I was making (although I realise I missed out Nimrod, above) ie no one knows if the offer is reasonable.

 

I think it had more impact that way, my apologies if it came across any other way!

 

I, of course, agree with your point re: BTE insurance vs ATE. I never get insurance without the extra legal cover.

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I, of course, agree with your point re: BTE insurance vs ATE. I never get insurance without the extra legal cover.

 

Yet:

 

As somebody working on the Defendant side of the PI fence

 

Clear evidence of bias!!.

(I'm joking, BTW, as the full quote is):

 

As somebody working on the Defendant side of the PI fence I can play devils advocate here.

 

and even then that doesn't infer bias, as the Defendant no longer gets to know if the Claimant is funded by a CFA ......

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Yet:

 

 

 

Clear evidence of bias!!.

(I'm joking, BTW, as the full quote is):

 

 

 

and even then that doesn't infer bias, as the Defendant no longer gets to know if the Claimant is funded by a CFA ......

 

 

Hah, hopefully you haven't read what I've posted about credit hire during my time on the forums...!

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