Negotiating settlement with those who represent Defendants is often the final stage in a personal injury claim. As I explained in part 4, we had been able to value Taylor’s injuries and his additional losses.
Taylor’s injuries were, mercifully, not too serious. He badly bruised both his knees and cut and bruised both paws when he fell. Overall, given that he had made a full recovery within about a month, I valued his injuries at £1250.00 after researching similar cases and reading the Judicial College Guidelines which Judges use to value claims.
Taylor’s special losses (See blog 4) totalled approximately £150.00. This was a loss of earnings (he was paid SSP but we claimed for the difference between that and his usual earnings ), a taxi fare and a prescription.
The total value of his claim, as I advised him, was therefore around £1400.00. Once I had Taylor’s instructions, I sent the medical report to the Defendants’ insurers together with an offer to settle in the sum of £1650.00.
Three weeks later, the insurers responded with a counter offer of £1500.00. I advised Taylor to accept this offer if there was no increase, as I was sure a Court would be very unlikely to award him more if we were to challenge it. Before I accepted the offer however, I rang the Insurers and managed to negotiate them up to £1575.00 in full and final settlement.
As per the terms of the Conditional Fee Agreement (no-win, no-fee) Taylor entered into with Taylor & Emmet, we were entitled to a success fee capped at 25% of Taylor’s damages. This deduction is based on the amount of time we have spent on the file, and the total value of the claim. Fortunately, Taylor’s claim had been relatively straightforward, so the total deduction was only £259.00 (just 16%) leaving Taylor with total damages of £1316.00.
Taylor was delighted, almost like a Cheshire Cat. Like everyone, he would rather have not had a painful injury in the first place, but he was satisfied that we had at least restored him to the position he would have been in had the accident never occurred.
I hope that this series of blogs has helped to explain the various stages in the personal injury claims process. If you would like any further advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – free of charge.