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Professional Negligence > Claims Against Solicitors > Under-settled Personal Injury Claims

Under-settled Personal Injury Claims

If you think you’ve lost out because your Personal Injury claim was under-settled, find out if you can claim the compensation you are owed by filling out the form below.

There are hundreds of thousands of Personal Injury compensation claims made in England and Wales every year. These claims are made by solicitors on behalf of their clients. Whilst the vast majority of solicitors who deal with these kinds of claims provide their clients with a good service, we have been contacted by people who are concerned that their previous solicitor may have under-settled their claim.

What is settling?

Settling is the final stage of a compensation claim, such as a Personal Injury claim, and it means that all parties involved have to come to an agreement on three key points. The points that have to be agreed upon in order for a claim to settle are:

  • Who was responsible for causing the accident (if there is a dispute over who was responsible then the claim is usually resolved at a court hearing).

  • The amount of compensation to be paid to the accident victim (this will be based on the medical evidence of the victim’s injuries and on any other losses they have suffered).

  • Who will pay the compensation (either the person responsible for the accident, or their insurance company) and how much they will contribute (in cases where more than one person or business were found to have been responsible).

A settled claim is one where the compensation has been paid to the victim and the matter is considered ‘settled’ or finished. However, just because money has changed hands, it does not mean that the claim was dealt with properly, or that all those affected received an amount of compensation that properly reflected the effects of their injuries on their lives. This is where the concept of under-settling comes into play.

What is under-settling?

An under-settled claim is a claim that has been settled for less than its true value. Under-settling a personal injury claim means that the claimant will receive less compensation than they ought to.

Under-settling a claim can leave the claimant with significant financial difficulties, particularly if they were counting on their compensation settlement to live off (if they are unable to work due to their injuries), or to provide for their future care and rehabilitation needs.

How does it happen?

There are many reasons why a claim, particularly a personal injury claim might be under-settled. In some cases a claim might be under-settled with the full knowledge of the claimant, if they just want to finish their claim quickly (for example if there has been a change in their circumstances, they are in poor health or they are moving abroad). But most of the time, a claim will be under-settled due to the negligence of the Personal Injury solicitors involved.

A claim can be under-settled if your solicitor makes mistakes or is negligent during the process of assembling your personal injury claim, gathering evidence and conducting negotiations with the other parties involved. Some examples of situations where something could go wrong with your personal injury claim, causing it to be under-settled include:

  • Failure to get appropriate medical evidence of your injuries. This can include cases where no medical report was commissioned by your solicitor, or where the doctor examining your injuries did not have sufficient medical knowledge to properly assess you or to provide a prognosis.

  • Failure to negotiate with the party responsible for causing the accident. At Canter Levin & Berg, we have seen several cases where other solicitors have accepted the first offer put forward by an insurer for their client’s compensation, without bothering to contact their client to see if they are happy with this figure, or to put forward an alternate figure.

  • Failure to consider all of the financial losses in your claim. Common mistakes include failure to fully recover your loss of earnings, loss of overtime and any missed pension contributions. Your solicitor may also have failed to consider a claim for the time and trouble spent by family and friends who provided care and support to you following your accident.

  • Firms of solicitors who rely on inexperienced junior members of staff to run personal injury compensation claims. This can lead to mistakes being made on files and problems such as missed deadlines or poor communication between solicitor and client and can in some circumstances, result in a claim being under-settled.

What types of claims are involved?

All types of Personal Injury and Road Traffic Accident compensation claims can be affected by under-settling. This also includes claims made by people who have suffered accidents at work and slips and trips in shops.

The level of under-settling in a particular claim can also vary from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands in cases involving serious injuries, or injuries with lengthy recovery periods.

If I think my former solicitor under-settled my claim, what should I do?

If you’re concerned that a compensation claim you have made recently has been under-settled, then you should speak to the solicitors here at Canter Levin & Berg. We have a dedicated professional negligence team, who look at incidents of negligence involving the under-settling of personal injury compensation claims.

You can use the form at the top of this page to find out if you might have grounds to make a claim for professional negligence compensation and to leave your details for one of our solicitors to call you back for a further discussion of your case.

How easy is it to make a claim?

Until recently, it was relatively difficult to make a professional negligence claim against a solicitor for under-settling a claim, as the courts were reluctant to award the claimant their legal costs. This meant that any claim that was brought would have to be funded by their claimant out of their own pocket, making it too expensive for all but a handful of potential claimants to take their cases to court.

However, following an increase in reports of under-settling in personal injury claims, professional negligence solicitors, including those here at Canter Levin & Berg, are now willing and able to take on these claims. This is on the basis that a percentage of the money recovered in the event of a successful claim will be used to pay the legal fees of your professional negligence solicitor.

To find out more about the charges involved in making a claim for professional negligence compensation in respect of an under-settled claim, contact the Professional Negligence Solicitors here at Canter Levin & Berg on 0151 239 1000, or fill in the enquiry form at the top of this page.

Professional Negligence Lawyers Association