Personal injury claims can be quite difficult to value as they don’t just take into account the monetary losses that a victim faces, but also the emotional and physical losses such as prolonged pain and suffering and missed job opportunities. There are also many different kinds of personal injury claims, so getting an accurate valuation can be more difficult if your solicitor does not have strong experience with your specific type of injuries.
These complexities can result in solicitors making mistakes, leaving claims under-settled and the victim receiving less compensation than they are entitled to. In these circumstances it may be possible to sue your solicitor for negligence.
Why are personal injury claims under-settled?
The amount of pain that someone is in and the debilitating effects an injury can have on their lives, can be difficult to measure accurately. This can make judging the value of a claim particularly complex, therefore there are times when a claimant may not receive the amount of compensation relative to their injuries.
A common problem behind under-settled claims is the use of claims management firms. These firms do not have qualified litigation lawyers that are trained to deal with complex cases and are not regulated in the same way that lawyers are. Emphasis is placed on processing as many claims as possible at these firms, meaning that the quality of service is poor.
Another common problem happens when the defendant offers a financial settlement before a medical report has been issued and assessed. As the claimant may be anxious for the process to be over, they may accept this offer to avoid further anxiety. This can result in them being undercompensated.
In some cases, the solicitor who is representing the claimant, may to be blame. There is growing pressure in the personal injury claims industry to reduce costs, so solicitors may be under pressure from their firms to cut corners, which can lead to mistakes. This need to reduce costs also sees many cases being passed to solicitors in a more junior role to handle, who have less experience and skills, which can also lead to mistakes, particularly in making a valuation of the claim.
Making a claim against your personal injury solicitor
If the service from your solicitor falls short of expectations and you feel that your personal injury claim was under-settled, you may be able to make a professional negligence claim against them to resolve the matter.
It is important to seek legal advice before pursuing a professional negligence claim. Your new solicitor will first contact your original solicitor with your challenge, to see if they can come to an appropriate financial settlement for you. If your original solicitor is unwilling to accept responsibility for the negligence, then the next step would be to launch a professional negligence claim.
In order to do this, your case needs to be reassessed to confirm that it was undervalued. Usually this will involve a reassessment of your medical reports and collating all the evidence of your losses, both physically and financially, in order to accurately value your claim. It is important to keep copies of all documents related to your case and to keep a record of all the communication you have had with both your original solicitor and your new solicitor for reference.
Get advice about your under-settled personal injury claim
Making a professional negligence claim for an under-settled personal injury claim can be complicated and time-consuming, so it is always best to seek advice from a solicitor who can tell you if you have a case or not.
At Bird & Co, our specialist personal injury lawyers have the expertise to help you secure the compensation you deserve. All personal injury claims we take on are dealt with by a fully qualified solicitor with extensive experience in a wide range of claims, including road traffic accidents, medical negligence claims, workplace injuries and slips, trips and falls.
This high-level expertise and experience mean we can ensure the very best service and an accurate valuation for your claims, minimising the risk of under-settlement.
If you think your personal injury claim was under-settled, call one of our team today on 01476 404 103 or use our enquiry form to the right of this page.