Should I accept a pre-medical offer in an injury claim?
What are the risks in accepting a pre-medical offer from an insurer? Is it ever worth it?
What is a Pre-Medical offer?
If you have been injured as the result of someone else's negligence, such as in a road traffic accident, you may be offered compensation within a few days of the injury occurring.
This kind of offer is issued by insurers who have early knowledge of an accident, such as the companies that provide insurance for drivers. The driver responsible for the accident notifies his or her insurer, and the insurer then proceeds to contact the injured party, anticipating that the person will make a claim at some point in the future.
As the term ?pre-medical' implies, the offer of compensation is made in the absence of expert advice from a medical professional.
Why do insurance companies make Pre-Medical offers?
Every insurance company acts in its own interests. If you have not been assessed by a medical professional who specialises in your particular injury, there is no evidence of the immediate effects and longer-term consequences of that injury.
Without medical evidence to support the calculation of a specific amount, usually the insurance company can offer to pay out considerably less than they would need to if the case went to court. The insurance company then saves themselves a considerable amount of money, as the case is considered to be resolved.
The claimant cannot, in most cases, pursue a claim further if they have accepted a pre-medical offer.
Why do people accept Pre-Medical offers?
Financial pressures often cause people to accept pre-medical offers.
If you are struggling financially in the wake of an accident, it can be tempting to opt for a quick fix. Being contacted by an insurance company with an offer can appear to be a great way to get the help you need in a relatively short period of time. If your finances are stretched, getting a claim processed immediately can seem to be the answer to your problems.
Should you accept a Pre-Medical offer?
You should not accept a pre-medical offer if you want to ensure that you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled.
The value of a personal injury claim is determined by medico-legal reports. This is evidence provided by an experienced doctor, who has extensive knowledge of the kind of injuries you have sustained and the potential impact of those injuries.
A pre-medical offer is designed to be as low as possible in order to protect the interests of the insurers. It does not take account of any pain and suffering you have experienced, and is unlikely to cover a loss of earnings or other costs incurred because of an accident.
If you have been provided with a pre-medical offer, it is likely that you are only days away from the accident itself. At this stage, it is very difficult to ascertain the long term effects of your injuries, and even if you were to hazard a guess, you would not be able to claim that you will be affected in the long term in the absence of evidence from a certified professional.
A final settlement
If you choose to accept a pre-medical offer, you cannot change your mind at a later date.
By accepting such an offer, you are making an agreement with the insurance company that you will not pursue the matter any further. If you find that your condition has worsened over time, or that you have developed further complications, you cannot make another claim for compensation.
To discuss starting a claim, or to talk about a pre-medical offer you have received, contact Quittance's network of personal injury solicitors on 0800 612 7456.