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Under-settled Claims

If your personal injury or medical negligence compensation claim has settled for less than you were expecting/believe you are entitled to; you may be entitled to receive compensation from your old solicitors.

Home » Personal Law » Professional Negligence » Under-settled Claims
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If you think your compensation claim for personal injury or medical negligence was under-settled, contact us today.

The amount of compensation recovered might be too low for a number of reasons:

  • the case settled too quickly
  • the person dealing with the case missed something important
  • the claim was mishandled
  • the claim was not investigated properly
  • it was wrongly valued
  • incompetence
  • the solicitors unlawfully deducted costs from compensation
  • the case settled with split liability

In some cases your solicitor may simply have undervalued the award for your injuries. If any of this has led to an under settlement of your claim, you may have a claim against the solicitor.

Reasons For Under-Settlement

Under-settlement is happening more often because many firms now:

  • recruit low cost, less or unqualified people to handle personal injury claims
  • limit the amount of time the claims handlers can spend on a case
  • encourage early settlement of claims Inevitably, mistakes are made, either as a result of lack of expertise or lack of time.

What Can Be Done About Under-Settlement

All of these errors can be grounds for a professional negligence claim against the firm that dealt with your personal injury or medical negligence claim.

If you are concerned that your personal injury or medical negligence settlement was too low, we can obtain and review your previous solicitors’ file to determine if they were negligent. If they were, you may be entitled to compensation.

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Rob Ripley
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Mike Wilson
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Natalie Thomas
Risk Partner

T: 01522 518 888

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FAQs
My claim has settled but I’m not happy with the amount of compensation I received?
If your matter has settled for less than you had expected, we may be able to help. Not every low settlement is a negligent under settlement, but if there is a significant difference between what you received in damages and what you ought to have received then there may have been negligence on the part of your solicitor. In most cases it is not possible to return to the initial claim, but you could potentially recover the difference between the amount you received and the amount you could have received had your matter been correctly handled. This would be by way of professional negligence compensation from your original solicitors for any act of negligence on their part in regards to the settlement.
I have settled my claim but I am aware of other claims being settled for more than I have received?
If you have settled your claim but are aware of other similar claims settling for more than you have received this may be a good indication that your claim has been negligently under settled. Not all claims are the same and there may be a reason for the difference in settlement, this is something that we are able to investigate on your behalf. Don’t worry if your claim has concluded, please get in touch we may be able to assist and recover your correct entitlement from your previous solicitors.
I was never advised about the likely value of the claim and what would be an appropriate settlement?
A valuation of your claim should be made as soon as possible, however this can only be accurate once all medical evidence has been received. Nonetheless, your solicitor should provide guidance from the outset of your matter on the likely settlement amount. This information would then assist you in making a reasonable and informed decision in relation to making or receiving any offers of settlement. If you have settled your claim and you were never provided with a potential settlement value, or you are in the process of settling your claim and do not feel that your solicitor has provided you with all the necessary information; please get in touch as we may be able to assist.
I feel that there was pressure from my solicitor to settle my claim as soon as possible
Rushed and early settlement could mean under-settlement. If you have been unnecessarily pressured into settling your claim quickly and feel that this has affected the value of your claim then we may be able to help, you may well be entitled to compensation from your previous solicitors.
My claim was settled without obtaining any medical evidence, is there anything I can do?
An important part of a solicitor’s role is ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries. If your injuries are clinical related and have not been adequately assessed by a medical professional then it may be that your solicitor has been negligent in reaching a settlement without carrying out the necessary investigations. Consequently, it is possible that any settlement you receive is an undervaluation of your claim. If you believe that your clinical negligence claim has not been adequately investigated, or settlement has been reached without independent expert medical opinion please get in touch.
My claim has settled but I have now developed further problems, what can I do?
If you were not symptom free when you settled your claim, or have settled your claim and are now experiencing further complications that were not considered as a potential side effect of your injuries; then your solicitor may have acted negligently and you may be entitled to professional negligence compensation. Please get in touch today to see if we can help.
My claim has been settled on a split liability basis and I do not understand why?
If there is a suggestion that you could have or did contribute to your own injuries, your damages may have been reduced by way of what is referred to as Split liability / contributory negligence. Split liability can occur in any type of property damage or personal injury claim however, there are some circumstances where it simply is not appropriate, for examplein medical negligence cases where the patient was unconscious or under anaesthetic at the time of the negligent treatment. Your solicitors may have advised that it is best to accept split settlement in order to achieve a quick settlement. If your claim should not have been settled on this basis, it may be possible to show that the solicitors were negligent. This means that you may be able to pursue your original solicitors for the full amount of your claim. If your case was settled on a split liability basis and you are unhappy or unsure why this was so, please contact us to see if we can help.
How much will it cost me to bring a claim against my solicitors for the under settlement?
Most professional negligence matters can be run on a no win, no fee basis. Otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that if we are not successful in recovering damages in your claim, we do not get paid for the work that we have done. If your claim is successful, the majority of our costs are recoverable from the defendant. There may be a deduction from your damages however, this will only be if you are successful and the circumstances and percentage will be discussed in full at the outset.
How long will my claim take?
Every professional negligence claim is different and the timeframe can vary. However, the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol applies to the majority of professional negligence claims. This protocol governs the conduct of the parties in the initial stages of the claim, for example, after we have sent a Letter of Claim to the Defendant, they have 21 days to acknowledge it and then 3 months after that to respond. Keeping this in mind, and the time it takes to investigate the claim, gather any expert evidence and take any other steps that may be required, the initial stages of the claim can take between 6 and 12 months. If the matter proceeds to trial, this can take in excess of 2 years although very few claims reach this stage.
What should I do next?
If you think you have a professional negligence claim you should contact our Professional Negligence department. You can do this by calling any of our offices, by emailing enquiries@bmcf.co.uk or making a general enquiry on:http://www.professionalnegligenceclaims.co.uk/contact-us.html.