Insurance Counter Offer to Settle Claim

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					                                 Injury Team Guide
       The Insurance company making an offer of Settlement

What does “Part 36” mean?

Either party can make an offer to settle all or part of your claim at any point. The
Court expects both parties to be pro-active and to take all steps to attempt to reach
a settlement. In almost every case we would expect to receive an offer from the other
side at some point.

The rules about making offers are contained in Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules
which govern Personal Injury Claims. Therefore offers made in accordance with these
rules are called “Part 36 Offers”.

The offers are made on what is known as a “without prejudice” basis. This means
that the Court will not be aware of the offer until the end of the claim. This is to
encourage both sides to make genuine attempts to settle the claim.

The offer made by the other side will be open for you to accept for a “relevant
period”, which is usually 21 days unless stated otherwise. Even if the offer is not
accepted by you within the relevant period, it will remain a valid offer for you to
accept at any point unless and until it is withdrawn by the other side. You are even
able to make a counter offer without invalidating the other side’s offer. If, however,
you do accept the offer after the relevant period it may be disadvantageous to you in
terms of the legal charges incurred.

What type of offers can be made?

The other side’s offer can be in respect of one or more of the following:

Total claim           This will include every aspect of your damages claim and, if
                      accepted, will mean that your claim is finished
General damages       This will relate to your claim for your pain, suffering and loss of
only                  amenity i.e the injury itself
Special damages       This will relate to your claim for the financial consequences of
only                  the accident i.e your out of pocket expenses and loss of
Liability only        This will relate to the apportionment of blame between you and
                      the other side for the accident
What happens if you accept the offer?

If you accept the offer for the total claim then you will have won your claim and will
receive your damages. If the offer is only for part of your claim, then at least the
issues are narrowed and you will have taken a positive step towards settlement.

What happens if you reject the offer?

It is often a tactical move by the other side to make a Part 36 Offer. A Part 36 Offer is
a powerful tool that applies pressure on you to consider settling all or part of your
claim. If you do not accept the other side’s offer and you fail to obtain an award of
the Court which is more advantageous than the proposals contained in the other
side’s offer, then the following penalties may apply against you:

    •   You would have to pay the other side’s legal charges, including interest,
        from the latest date that you should have accepted the other side’s offer.
    •   You would also have to pay your own legal charges from the same date

The reason those penalties apply is because the Court states it is not fair for the
other side to have to pay the all of the legal charges incurred after they had made a
reasonable offer that should have been accepted by you, as it was higher than the
award you ultimately achieved.

Accompanying this information sheet is a letter advising you about the appropriate
offer for you to make. If you have any queries or concerns about this information
sheet and/or the accompanying letter please do not hesitate to contact us by
telephone and we shall be very happy to assist.

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