Negotiating an offer to settle

An offer to settle a case can happen at any time. While it is fair to say that with certain claims the defendant’s side may make an offer before any evidence is obtained, it is also correct to say that we would anticipate an offer to be made, or to make an offer, after disclosing all the relevant evidence.

If the defendant’s side has made an offer, your lawyer will advise you on whether to accept or reject it. It is your decision to make. Your lawyer may also advise you to make an offer to the defendant. This could be alongside the disclosure of medical evidence, or to encourage the defendant’s side to negotiate.

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  1. Rejecting The Offer

    If the defendant’s side has made an offer and your lawyer doesn’t believe it is appropriate, they will advise you to reject it. It could be that the defendant’s side has made an offer without all the relevant evidence, for example a medical consultant you have been referred to may recommend that another consultant, specialising in a different area, examines you. The defendant may make an offer before this second examination in which case, not all evidence relevant to your case has been collected.

    Your lawyer will advise that you undergo this second examination to obtain further evidence in order to have a full picture of the effects of the accident, or risk undersettling your claim.

    There are other scenarios in which your lawyer will advise that you reject an offer, for example if the defendant’s side has made the offer and your lawyer believes more can be achieved.

  2. Part 36 Offers

    If you or the defendant’s side has made an offer under Part 36 of the civil procedure rules, it will carry certain consequences. A minimum period of at least 21 days in which the offer is open to acceptance must be specified, and during this period, the party making the offer will be liable for your costs, as well as the amount offered – this is known as the Relevant Period. A Part 36 offer cannot be altered or withdrawn during the Relevant Period unless the court gives permission.

    This can be used as a negotiation tool and either side may make an offer which stands for 21 days only in order to encourage the other side to quickly agree the offer or make a different one, speeding up the settlement process.

    Your lawyer will advise you about the consequences of a Part 36 offer.

  3. Accepting The Offer

    If the defendant’s side has made a fair offer that your lawyer thinks is acceptable, they will advise you to accept it. Remember that accepting the offer will mean full settlement of your claim. There will be no opportunity to reopen the claim and so it is vital not to settle until you are happy that any medical symptoms you have are either resolved or you are at an advanced enough stage in the recovery period that they will not worsen.

    Once you agree to accept the offer, your lawyer will advise the defendant’s side and they will advise when they will be sending a cheque in settlement of your claim. Your lawyer will make you aware of when you can expect to receive your settlement cheque.

 

At this point, you could choose to accept the offer, in which case proceed to Case Settled. If you do not accept the offer, then proceed to Step 6: Issue Court Proceedings.

Joint Settlement Meeting Case Management Conference Directions Given Issue Court Proceedings Case Concluded Negotiation Check Evidence Seek Evidence Liability Denied Liability Accepted Letter of Claim Sent Case Taken On Court Case Settled
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Joint Settlement Meeting

In some circumstances we may need to hold a joint settlement meeting to reach a final settlement on your case.

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Case Management Conference

Once court proceedings have started, a case can have one or more case management conferences at any point before it reaches trial.  

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Directions Given

Claimants and defendants are both required to directions to the court about how the case will progress.

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Issue Court Proceedings

Usually, your lawyer will advise that it is appropriate to issue court proceedings on your case if it has reached an impasse or because your claim needs to be protected.  

 

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Case Concluded

Your case will conclude with the presiding judge making a decision on whether your claim has been successful or not.

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Negotiation

Negotiation of your case, based on the evidence presented from both sides.

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Check Evidence

Your lawyer will check received evidence for accuracy and legitimacy.

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Seek Evidence

Gathering of evidence is essential whether or not the defendant denies responsibility or not.

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Liability Denied

Denial of liabilty means the most likely next steps include gathering supporting evidence to present to the defendant.

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Liability Accepted

If the insurer accepts liability, the case can proceed to a monetary settlement.

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Letter of Claim Sent

This stage confirms in writing the case, injuries and financial losses you have suffered.

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Case Taken On

This stage will encompass your initial discussions with JMW about your case, and assessing your suitability to claim.

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Court

At this point we prepare all evidence for your court hearing.

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Case Settled

At this point you could choose to accept the defendants offer or not.

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