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Title: Should I accept the settlement?

Date: 14 February 2015

I was knocked off my Daytona 2 months ago. I was stationary behind a car waiting to turn right when a car emergency braked behind me but it was too late – his wheels locked up and he skidded in to the back of me. The bike was written off and I have had soft tissue and tendon damage to my lower back and wrists, which still hurt now, and whiplash. My insurance company referred me on to solicitors who have asked me to accept compensation of £1500. I have had 8 sessions of physiotherapy and am due to undergo a few more totalling 12. I was examined by a GP instructed by my solicitors. Do I accept the £1500?

Ian Watson, Chippenham

Answer

You need to have a reliable prognosis before agreeing to settle your claim. This is because settlement is on a full and final basis and you would not be able to go back for more in a year or so should it transpire that you are still suffering. I think it sounds like some further physiotherapy (at the defendant's expense) is required. Speak to your solicitor about this although it is doubtful that you actually have a qualified solicitor acting for you as insurance companies tend to instruct law firms who then use non-qualified staff in the lower value cases to keep the costs down and profits up.

Anyway, don't be pressurised into settling but do ask your lawyers about the implications of failing to beat an offer later down the line (costs sanctions). If you were fully recovered then £1500 for pain and suffering for 8 weeks would not be bad. You are not recovered and may not be for some time and you have to bear this in mind. It is early days and back and whiplash symptoms can last a long time, and tendon damage can be problematic. Has the GP adequately dealt with your prognosis in terms of these injuries or do you need to see a specialist for a report? These are issues you must discuss with your solicitor as well as the financial losses you can claim.

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