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Could I please ask a bit of advice for a friend. She is only young and was hit by a car whilst walking home one night. She was on the pavement and the car insurer has obviously accepted full liability.

 

She went to a Solicitor who has urged her to accept an out of court settlement of £5,500

 

She had head injuries and needed stitches

Had 3 broken ribs

Post Traumatic Stress

Missed her exams

Three weeks loss of salary

 

Out of this she needs to pay her Solicitor 25%

 

Does this seem a fair settlement?

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is this a PI ambulance chaser firm?

seems a bit low to me for three ribs?

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is this a PI ambulance chaser firm?

seems a bit low to me for three ribs?

 

It is mate. A solicitors who advertises regular for car accidents. She's not greedy and expecting a fortune. Just her Mum think that having to be rushed to hospital with head injuries (albeit later finding out superficial). Having head scans and scans of ribs etc. Missing exams. Being in pain for weeks and having PTS thinks it a bit low. 8-9k and she'd be happy but solicitor says accept now because if you go to court and the judge awards £1 less you'll end up with nothing.

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You need to find a copy of Kemp & Kemp: Quantum of Damages which is the guide to injury compensation.

 

The figure of £5500 sounds a bit on the low side given the inconvenience of the delay in taking her exams. If she needed (or is still receiving) counselling for the PTSD, I'd consider asking for a higher offer.

 

Is this the first offer on the table ?

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Yes it is the first offer. The solicitor however has said in her letter 'I strongly urge you to accept this offer as if the judge awards less you are likely to receive nothing'...............or words to that effect. I'll look for Kemp & Kemp

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Let others comment first

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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From what I can see it does seem slightly low, but there are too many variables at this stage... You advise she has PTSD. Has this been validated by a psych report? Otherwise it is just an allegation of PTSD which only means a minor uplift. The loss of salary is considered with the "Schedule of Special Damages" - how much was this - if it was about £500 then £5000 is bring valued for the PSLA. If the schedule is minimal - at the £500 mark then a typical short term rib recovery with no firm diagnosis of PTSD you will get nowhere near £9000, but around £6-6500.

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How long ago did the accident occur ?

 

Are there are ongoing medical issues directly related to the accident, where a Doctor has been consulted ?

 

If this happened quite awhile ago and there are no ongoing issues requiring medical assistance, then i would think the person dealing with the personal injury claim is in a much better position to validate whether the offer of £5500 is fair or not. Of course your friend could go back and say she wants £7000, giving reasons for this. If the Insurers refuse to increase their offer, then your friend could go back saying that she reluctantly will accept £5500, as she does not want hassle of further litigation. Up to your friend really.

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Out of context without a prognosis its a bit hard to say but:

 

Cracked Ribs causing severe pain for a period of weeks - up to £3,300

Properly diagnosed PTSD with a recovery up to 2 years - up to £6,850

If not properly diagnosed, the psychological trauma could get up to £2k

Minor injuries e.g. cuts and bruises, depending on recovery time - up to £1k.

 

So looking at that, £5.5k seems low, but hard to say for certain without a lot more information.

 

As this is a friend of a friend or whatever, you may not have the answers to provide some context, however:

 

Is the matter in the MOJ portal? If so the end game if settlement not agreed is Part 8 proceedings and a 10 minute quantum hearing with minimal papers. If the matter isn't in the Portal, ends with Part 7 proceedings involving a lot more disclosure, potentially greater fees for Csols.

 

What was your friend's solicitors opening offer? It's usual for the Claimant to make the first offer and for the Defendant to

counter-offer. I.e. is the £5.5k a response to an offer made on your friend's behalf? Negotiation-wise, this is important.

 

For example, as a Defendant PI lawyer I'd probably lowball the first offer and then negotiate to about the middle of what's reasonable based on Kemp or JC guidelines.

 

Odd thing to say on such strong terms - 'I strongly urge you to accept this offer as if the judge awards less you are likely to receive nothing' - your friend should ask for a detailed explanation. I suspect it is because the offer made is a part 36 offer and if your friend fails to beat it, she could be liable for some of the Defendant's costs (which in the absence of ATE insurance) would have to be paid out of her damages...

 

In my opinion the solicitors urging your friend to accept a first offer shows one of the following:

 

a. They are being overly cautious

b. They are being lazy

c. They have a high number of cases therefore want a quick settlement to get it off their desk.

d. They've seen something in the medical reports or other documents which causes them concern.

 

At the end of the day though, it's up to your friend. I don't think the Defendant would be expecting their first offer to be accepted.

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Has your friend asked her solicitor's advice on how much she is likely to receive if she went to court and was successful?

 

Remember that the first offer is rarely the 'final offer'. It might be a good idea to make a higher counter-offer, perhaps £10k. The defendant may be willing to meet in the middle, perhaps at £7.5k.

 

The defendant is likely to be willing to accept £5k at a later date, so your friend should not feel pressured to make an immediate decision.

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Excellent & comprehensive reply from SV.

I can't really add much but just for clarification:

 

Kemp or JC guidelines.

 

JC Guidelines : the OP may not know what these are from the abbreviation : The "Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases" published by the Judicial College (JCG)

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Excellent & comprehensive reply from SV.

I can't really add much but just for clarification:

 

 

 

JC Guidelines : the OP may not know what these are from the abbreviation : The "Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases" published by the Judicial College (JCG)

 

It would be great ( hint hint ) if someone knowledgeable set up a discussion thread with the current basics on PI claims. Such a thread might then be added as a sticky by site admin and it can be linked/referred to in future posts. Might save time in responding to new threads and be useful.

We could do with some help from you.

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Out of context without a prognosis its a bit hard to say but:

 

Cracked Ribs causing severe pain for a period of weeks - up to £3,300

Properly diagnosed PTSD with a recovery up to 2 years - up to £6,850

If not properly diagnosed, the psychological trauma could get up to £2k

Minor injuries e.g. cuts and bruises, depending on recovery time - up to £1k.

 

So looking at that, £5.5k seems low, but hard to say for certain without a lot more information.

 

As this is a friend of a friend or whatever, you may not have the answers to provide some context, however:

 

Is the matter in the MOJ portal? If so the end game if settlement not agreed is Part 8 proceedings and a 10 minute quantum hearing with minimal papers. If the matter isn't in the Portal, ends with Part 7 proceedings involving a lot more disclosure, potentially greater fees for Csols.

 

What was your friend's solicitors opening offer? It's usual for the Claimant to make the first offer and for the Defendant to

counter-offer. I.e. is the £5.5k a response to an offer made on your friend's behalf? Negotiation-wise, this is important.

 

For example, as a Defendant PI lawyer I'd probably lowball the first offer and then negotiate to about the middle of what's reasonable based on Kemp or JC guidelines.

 

Odd thing to say on such strong terms - 'I strongly urge you to accept this offer as if the judge awards less you are likely to receive nothing' - your friend should ask for a detailed explanation. I suspect it is because the offer made is a part 36 offer and if your friend fails to beat it, she could be liable for some of the Defendant's costs (which in the absence of ATE insurance) would have to be paid out of her damages...

 

In my opinion the solicitors urging your friend to accept a first offer shows one of the following:

 

a. They are being overly cautious

b. They are being lazy

c. They have a high number of cases therefore want a quick settlement to get it off their desk.

d. They've seen something in the medical reports or other documents which causes them concern.

 

At the end of the day though, it's up to your friend. I don't think the Defendant would be expecting their first offer to be accepted.

 

I think you're being very optimistic with your valuation of £2000 for PTSD if there is no psychological report.

 

On the limited information available the offer doesn't seem too unreasonable, especially with litigation risk being taken into account.

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Yea most likely - the £2,000 figure is the top end of the bracket of 'Minor Injuries' in the Judicial College guidelines, which can cover general minor psychological issues. I should have said up to £2k but more likely between £500-£1k.

 

I don't think there's enough info to say if the offer is reasonable or not.

 

What might help, even if we do not know the full extent of the injuries and prognoses in the medical report, is knowing what the Claimant's opening offer was. If the opening offer was e.g. £6.5k I'd probably be telling the Claimant to accept £5.5k, but if it was say, £10k, a further counter-offer would probably be the next step.

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Quick settlement might be because of no police criminal prosecution, bolstering the civil claim.

As well as the fact you need expensive reports by 'experts' in order to prove a claim, chipping away at the final figure.

 

The outcome of any future court case is in the ambulance chasing solicitors hands.

Having rejected offer, the solicitor will throw his toys out of the pram and screw up the case,

resulting in the judge dismissing the claim and somehow landing the aggrieved party with costs even though it was CFA.

 

Tell the solicitor your won't accept less than an out of court settlement done like on the telly - 2 sets of 'barristers', solicitors and paralegals shuffling from room to room negotiating the final figure.

 

The young lady needs to read the contract she has with the solicitors and ask what the bill with would be should she want to take the claim away from them.

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Quick settlement might be because of no police criminal prosecution, bolstering the civil claim.

As well as the fact you need expensive reports by 'experts' in order to prove a claim, chipping away at the final figure.

 

The outcome of any future court case is in the ambulance chasing solicitors hands.

Having rejected offer, the solicitor will throw his toys out of the pram and screw up the case,

resulting in the judge dismissing the claim and somehow landing the aggrieved party with costs even though it was CFA.

 

Tell the solicitor your won't accept less than an out of court settlement done like on the telly - 2 sets of 'barristers', solicitors and paralegals shuffling from room to room negotiating the final figure.

 

The young lady needs to read the contract she has with the solicitors and ask what the bill with would be should she want to take the claim away from them.

 

 

What a load of nonsense.

 

Entertaining reading though. :D

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