Under-settled personal injury claims
Every year hundreds of thousands of personal injury claims are made and progressed by solicitors in the UK. For the most part, these solicitors act professionally and provide a good service to their clients.
However, in some cases Claimants can feel that the solicitors they trusted to act in their best interests under-settled their personal injury claim – leaving them out of pocket.
We’ve put the below guide together to help you learn more about your options if you think your personal injury claim has been under-settled.
If you feel that you have lost out financially because of your solicitor under-settling your compensation claim, find out if you can make a claim for the compensation you are owed using the below form or calling us on 0151 225 0197.
What is Under-settling?
The term ‘settling’ refers to the final stage of a compensation claim, which means that the parties involved have come to an agreement regarding who was at fault for the accident, the compensation amount due to be paid, and who will pay it.
When a claim is settled, the compensation is paid to the Claimant and the matter is closed. However, money changing hands doesn’t necessarily mean that the ‘settled’ claim was dealt with correctly and that all of the injured parties have received the compensation pay out they were entitled to.
In cases like these, it may be that the solicitors acting on behalf of the Claimant(s) under-settled the claim.
An under-settled claim is basically one which has been settled for less than its true value, meaning the compensation pay out received by the Claimant is less than they were entitled to.
This can leave the Claimant with significant financial difficulties – especially if they need the compensation to help pay for rehabilitation and treatments cost, or if they are unable to work and earn as much as before due to the injuries they have sustained.
How does under-settling happen?
There are a lot of different reasons why a personal injury claim could be under-settled.
In some cases a claim is under-settled with the full knowledge and approval of the Claimant. For instance they could be keen for a quick resolution to the claim due to a change in their personal circumstances, if they are in ill health or even if they are planning on moving abroad soon.
In most cases though, an under-settled claim is caused by the negligence of the personal injury solicitors involved.
Some examples of how a solicitor can be negligent in dealing with a personal injury claim include:
Failure to collate appropriate medical evidence. A medical report is required during a personal injury claim in order to properly demonstrate the extent of your injuries, and the effect they have had on your life/career. A solicitor can be negligent if they fail to commission an official medical report, or if they use a doctor without sufficient knowledge to adequately assess your injuries and provide a prognosis.
Failure to properly negotiate with the responsible party. When the responsible party have accepted liability for the accident, their representatives (often their insurance company) will make a compensation offer. In some cases personal injury solicitors will simply accept this offer without consulting their client to see if they accept the proposed pay out amount.
Failure to include all relevant heads of claim. A compensation pay out should reflect everything the Claimant is entitled to – from the distress of suffering the injury to future medical treatment, loss of earnings, care costs. An under-settled claim may fail to take into account all of the heads of claim, for instance only measuring loss of earnings by calculating the salary you have missed while injured and ignoring elements like missed pension contributions, loss of overtime and/or the need for retraining in the future due to the injuries received. Or not taking into account care costs, future potential rehabilitation needs and other medical expenses.
Failure to deal with the claim in a professional manner. Sometimes firms of solicitors rely on junior or inexperienced members of staff to progress compensation claims. This can often result in clerical errors being made (i.e. missing deadlines) as well as poor communication between the solicitor, the Claimant and the responsible party – all of which can have the knock-on effect of a claim being under-settled.
What types of claim can be under-settled?
All types of compensation claim can be affected by under-settling.
Time limits for making an under-settled claim
Please note that strict time frames apply when making any Personal Injury Claim so time is of the essence. In cases for under-settled compensation, the time frame is 6 years from the date of the settlement.
Make a claim
If you feel that your personal injury claim may have been under-settled, get in touch with CL Legal today using the below form.
Our expert professional negligence solicitors will review your case and advise whether a claim can be made.
All funding options will be discussed to include dealing with your claim on a no win no fee basis*
- Meaning you pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful