In these uncertain times many people may well have financial concerns. If you are in the process of making a personal injury claim then you may be tempted to settle the claim straight away to provide a solution to these financial problems. Insurance companies may also start making offers to tempt people to settle early.
If you have a medical report confirming your injuries and you feel you have recovered or on the way to recovery then there is probably no harm in trying to push settlement at this time. Solicitors and insurers are still working, albeit many remotely, and they will be able to assist in trying to settle a claim.
The difficulties arise if you have not seen a medical expert or if the prognosis for your recovery is not clear. Once a case is settled it is in full and final settlement of a personal injury claim. It cannot be reopened in the future if the situation changes. Whilst it may be helpful to have a lump sum immediately this may mean that you are not compensated for longer term injuries or ongoing losses or expenses.
With more complex injuries it is important to have medical reports covering all of the injuries and the prognosis for these. If these injuries are likely to last long term then it will be necessary to look to future losses and expenses such as loss of earnings, medical and treatment costs and any care and assistance you may need in the future. It takes time to get all the information together and can often take 2 years or more to get a final prognosis on more serious injuries.
At an early stage of a claim a medical expert may feel you will recover, but this does not always happen so it is sensible to wait before settling a claim.
At this very difficult time it is easy to just look at the short term and take a settlement to help with the immediate financial difficulties. This could have the long term impact of meaning you are under settling the claim and could lead to future financial difficulties for example if you become unable to work.
In some cases it is possible to get an interim payment on a claim and this should be discussed as an alternative to settling.
At Hansells we are always happy to discuss any concerns you may have and try to find a solution. Please call us on 01603 751938 or via our ” Contact Us” form.