5 Reasons Your Case Could Have Been Under-Valued

11th Nov 2013

Compensation cases may be challenging and it's too easy for some less experienced solicitors to settle a case early when things get tough.  

Most experienced solicitors will work with you to overcome any hidden problems, delays or complications, so that you ultimately get the most compensation for your injury. However for some solicitors settling a case early, for whatever amount, means they can clear the case of their desk before costs mount up. For some claimants, this means that their cases may have been undersettled by thousands of pounds.  

Unfortunatley under valuing or under settling cases are just a few examples of professional negligence. While there is no conclusive list as to what is and isn't professional negligence, the examples below are the most common difficulties we come across include:

Under valuing of a case - This is one of the most frequent issues that we are instructed to investigate. Many people are totally reliant on their solicitor for help and guidance whilst their case is ongoing and will often take their solicitors recommendations on board when consenting to the negotiation of their award for damages. Having said that, when your case is settled you might realise that any physical problems are worse and have lasted far longer than you expected, or perhaps you may talk with a friend or colleague with similar injury and discover that they received a lot more compensation compared to you. Often there are explanations why a claim may settle for less, including contributory negligence or complications proving liability, but if you believe that you got less than you ought to have been given, then get in touch with us now and see if we can help.

Settling a case without medical evidence - Many insurance companies, especially in RTA (road traffic accidents) cases, will offer a pre-medical offer to try and settle your case promptly, before costs rise. Settling your claim without being medically examined is always a danger since your injuries may be more severe than you imagine and you could find yourself accepting much less than your case is really worth. If a pre medical offer is made it is of course your prerogative to accept the settlement BUT in the event that your solicitor has not informed you of the risks or maybe they've even put pressure on you to simply accept it so that they recover their costs quickly then they could be negligent.

Missing a deadline on time restrictions - Most legal cases, including personal injury, are governed by time limits. If your solicitor fails to adhere to these time limits then your claim could be unable to proceed through no fault of yours. If a solicitor initially accepts your case but then later on writes to you to advise they cannot proceed because your claim has been brought too late then this could possibly be as a result of negligence on the legal firm's part and this needs investigating.

Failing to beat a pay out offer - Throughout discussions to settle an injury case it's common for both sides to put forward offers of settlement (known as Part 36 offers). If your solicitor rejects an offer of settlement and then your case settles for a lower amount in Court or in the later stage of negotiations this could result in you having to pay some legal costs. It is essential that your solicitor advises you fully of the merits and dangers attached to all offers received. If they fail to do so they might be negligent.

Not investigating your claim properly - Accidental injury claims don't purely settle themselves and they do need hard work and commitment from your particular solicitor. Usually in depth witness statements have to be taken from both you and other people who might be able to offer information, professional reports may need to be taken from fellow professionals such as engineers or accountants, Court applications may be necessary to get documents from other parties. If you believe that your solicitor simply "gave up" without looking into your claim speak to us to see if we can examine your claim again.

Failure to take into account other losses - Most competent personal injury solicitors have a good idea how much you can claim for your injuries and fortunately most obtain a result in the expected ballpark with regards to agreeing your compensation. However, on top of the award for your specific injuries (general damages) your solicitor also needs to determine if you are eligible to recover any further monies referred to as special damages. Special damages include a huge number of things including lost wages, care costs, retraining and rehabilitation, loss of pension as well as any other out of pocket expenses.

Special damages can amount to thousands in some cases and if your solicitor has not taken these into consideration you might be in a position to bring a claim for professional negligence. If you believe that you could have a claim for professional negligence get in touch with Mercury Legal Online today. Click Here For Info

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