Who needs a medical report?
In many cases these days, insurance companies try to settle claims quickly by making an offer to injured claimants. These offers are typically made as soon as the insurer admits liability on behalf of the driver or other person or organisation it indemnifies. They are deliberately made to try and stop the victims of accidents obtaining medical reports before settling their claims.
Insurers know that solicitors have to take instructions from their clients upon any offers and hope that many will be tempted and take the money precisely because that usually saves them plenty of money!
Our job, as responsible personal injury* solicitors, is to ensure that our clients receive the correct amount of damages and we are only able to do that after we receive a medical report from a competent doctor who has examined our client and, in most cases, read their medical records. To settle the case without a report means that someone is very, very likely to accept much less than the claim is worth.
Typically, these offers are made in “whiplash” cases after Road Traffic Accidents. Most of us will recover in 3-12 months from neck and back pain although some will have longer lasting effects and some will have permanent symptoms. If you recover in 6-12 weeks, your claim for injury alone will be worth up to €3,000, but if the pain continues longer, you will probably be entitled to more than that. Only very few claims are worth less than that.
This does not include the out-of-pocket expenses which can run into thousands of euro in respect of past and future lost earnings, care, travelling and medical expenses as well as claims for damage to property, ruined holidays and other items of loss.
An experienced doctor will be able to predict how long it will take a client to recover from their symptoms and will also identify if they have other related conditions such as travel anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, scarring, chronic pain syndrome or minor head injuries. The doctor will also identify if the person needs treatment including physiotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, pain management treatment or other services to assist their recovery. It is surprising how many people don’t realise the severity of their injuries until they have a medical report.
We spend lots of time advising clients not to take Pre-Medical Offers as in the vast majority of such cases, it is much less than the true value of the claim and acceptance will mean that the client would be sacrificing money they are entitled to in order to boost the profits of the insurance company concerned.
Worryingly, insurers often make these offers directly to clients before they have instructed solicitors, undoubtedly to try and save even more money. I would not advise anyone to settle directly with an insurer after an accident. They should always take legal advice – remember the old proverb that “
A man who represents himself has a fool for a client”!
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a car accident which was no fault of your own then you are entitled to make a claim for the injury you suffered. It all starts with a conversation. So call us for a confidential chat on 1890 252467 or tell us what happened so that we can best advise and guide you.
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