Negotiation

Negotiations to settle a personal injury case usually occur when an offer of financial settlement is made by either the defendant or, under advice from your lawyer, by you.  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.

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. If liability has been admitted and we have enough evidence to work out how much the claim is worth, we are likely to recommend that you settle your case at this stage.  

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. 

Although they can occur at any time, negotiations on a personal injury case usually occur when an offer to settle the case is made.

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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.  Broadly speaking, there are two reasons why this will be the case.  Firstly, the defendant may have made an offer in advance of all the relevant evidence being gathered on your case, which would mean that your claim cannot be appropriately valued.  

    Secondly, the defendant’s offer is below what we would anticipate you should receive for your claim.  

    In either of these instances, your lawyer will advise you on the next steps.

  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 A Part 36 offer cannot be altered or withdrawn during the Relevant Period unless the court gives permission.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.

Life Cycle of a Claim

There are two types of Personal Injury cases, as follows:

Portal Cases

Generally these are cases where your compensation award is likely to be less than £25,000 and the injury has occurred in England and Wales.

Non-Portal Cases

Generally, these are cases that either; i. have occurred abroad. ii. Are likely to provide you with compensation in excess of £25,000 or iii. Have left you with life-changing injuries.

Learn about the types of cases we deal with

Case taken on

After getting in touch with us, your case will be passed to a lawyer, who will discuss with you your injuries and how they have affected you and about your claim generally.

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Contact made with other party or their insurers

Your lawyer will make contact with the defendant, generally via their insurer. This is either done via an online portal or a formal letter.

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Liability accepted

If the defendant accepts liability for your accident, it means that they accept legal responsibility and accept that they need to pay you compensation, subject to your lawyer proving the extent of the injuries and financial loss your accident has caused you.

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Liability denied

The defendant does not accept that they were responsible for your injuries. We will take steps on your behalf to obtain evidence to support you and encourage them to change their position.

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Seek evidence

A range of evidence will help us build a full picture of how much compensation you should receive. We will then work hard to secure it on your behalf.

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Negotiation

Negotiations to settle your claim can take place at any time. However, we would usually recommend only trying to negotiate a settlement once the full extent of your injuries and financial losses are known.

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Case settled

Settlement negotiations can take place at any time during the course of your claim. Your lawyer and most likely a barrister will represent you.

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Issue court
proceedings

We may need to issue court proceedings in order to progress your case

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Case settled

Settlement negotiations can take place at any time during the course of your claim. Your lawyer and most likely a barrister will represent you.

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Court issues
timetable

After court proceedings have been issued, the court will put a timetable in place, with input from both your lawyers and the defendant, with a view to proceeding to a final hearing.*

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Case settled

Settlement negotiations can take place at any time during the course of your claim. Your lawyer and most likely a barrister will represent you.

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Complying with
timetable

Once a timetable has been agreed, your lawyers and the defendant will have to comply with it. This involves exchanging relevant documents that will be relied upon to support or oppose your case.

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Court hearing

Your case will be listed for a final hearing, often months in advance, and you should make sure that you are free to attend this in order to give evidence to support your case. The judge will decide whether or not the defendant is at fault and what compensation you are entitled to.

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Case concluded

Your case will be concluded at the final hearing. We will work hard to ensure your compensation award is the best possible amount to enable you to get on with your life!

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