Should you accept the first compensation offer?

Receiving a compensation offer after being injured in a road traffic accident (RTA) means your claim is on the right track. At the very least, it can indicate that the other party accepts liability for the accident and your injuries.

However, receiving a compensation offer doesn’t necessarily mean the claim process has ended.

Let’s explore some of the most common questions about receiving a compensation offer after being injured in an accident.

When can I settle my claim?

You can accept a compensation offer whenever you want.

How you receive your offer will depend on how you approach your claim.

Some insurance companies will make a settlement offer before you have a medical or at another early stage of your case. However, you are not obligated to accept such offers to settle, and there are good reasons why you shouldn’t, too.

Why you shouldn’t accept a pre-medical compensation offer

Accepting an offer from an insurance company to settle your claim before you undergo a medical examination can be tempting.

  • You get your compensation
  • You don’t have to get yourself to a medical exam
  • You don’t have to check a medical report before it gets sent to the other person’s insurer

This is perhaps as close as you can get to receiving compensation without much hassle.

However, if you took such an offer, you couldn’t reopen this claim or bring a subsequent claim in future.

Remember, without undergoing a medical examination, you don’t know:

  • The full extent of your injuries
  • What treatment you will need
  • The long-term prognosis, likely recovery time, or if you’ll need ongoing attention

So, you could accept a compensation offer and consider that a fair settlement of your claim. However, you could still suffer the after-effects of your RTA and injuries years later, with no avenue to claim compensation. In addition, your injuries could lead to you incurring other post-settlement costs, like loss of income if you cannot work.

It is unlikely that a personal injury solicitor would ever advise you to take such an offer.

Why you shouldn’t accept an early-stage compensation offer

The answer is mainly for the same reasons you shouldn’t take a pre-medical compensation offer.

One difference with receiving early-stage offers after attending a medical exam is that you might feel it is enough. For example, if you think you’re recovering well and are already back to work, you might be happy to take an early-stage offer.

Still, in these circumstances, you should seek legal advice before deciding on the best course of action.

Why you shouldn’t accept the first compensation offer

The Financial Conduct Authority found that claimants typically get a two to three times higher amount of compensation if they:

  • Instruct a personal injury solicitor
  • Don’t accept the first compensation offer

Even if you receive an offer after proving liability, view this as the start of a negotiation.

Insurers have no obligation to return with an improved offer. However, a valuable part of the service you’ll receive from a personal injury solicitor is them negotiating on your behalf. You’ll need to manage this process if you make your claim using the Official Injury Claim portal.

So when should I accept a compensation offer?

When you believe the offer is the best possible compensation settlement for your injuries and other damages.

While each personal injury case and claim is different, a suitable compensation offer:

  • Reflects the extent of your injuries and how they will affect you in the long term.
  • Repays all out-of-pocket expenses, including lost wages, medical fees, and anything else.

What if I’ve already received a compensation offer?

If you’ve already received a compensation offer and aren’t sure what to do next, contact us here.

If you’ve been injured in an RTA, get in touch for a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim.

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