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Goodwill Gesture Or Proper Compensation?

Goodwill Gesture Or Proper Compensation?

Mr Sean Kehoe, Senior Partner at specialist personal injury firm Advance Legal, has said:

?We tend to find that Defendants and insurers are not very keen to pay out compensation to our clients. They will get up to all sorts of tricks and underhand tactics to try to avoid paying, or to delay it, or to try to pay less than the proper amount.

We had an interesting variation recently in a case involving a small boy who was injured at a firework display. Due to the negligence of the organiser, a firework shot across sideways into the crowd and hit our client, causing burns and he had to go to hospital. We were instructed and started a claim against the firework company. We wrote to them and asked them to admit liability so that we could talk to them about compensation. Instead, the firework company wrote directly to our client?s parents, not to us, with a letter containing the following words:

?I understand that you are currently pursuing a claim via Advance Legal Solicitors. I am more than happy to continue down this particular course, however I should point out that this particular process will almost certainly be very lengthy and will involve our insurers. I propose that before the formal claim route is progressed any further that we meet to discuss the issue. It may be possible to agree a mutually acceptable ?goodwill gesture? that may avoid the need to progress a claim any further. If you would like to arrange a meeting then please contact me on the above number?.

This is typical of a growing trend amongst insurers and Defendants to try to under settle cases and get away without paying the proper accident compensation. This particular Defendant went one stage further than the normal method. They actually wrote directly to our clients giving them the lame excuse that pursuing a claim through their solicitor would create delay whereas they could settle it much more quickly giving a ?goodwill gesture?.

We shall never know what they had in mind for their goodwill gesture, because our client?s parents sent the letter on to us and we have warned the firework company not to engage in any more tricks like that. The claim will now go forward in the proper way and our client will be seen by a Consultant who will make a proper report on his injuries. We will then value those and ensure that the full amount of the client?s damages is paid to him.

The public needs to be aware of these sorts of devious tactics from Defendants. If you have a personal injury claim then never settle it with the Defendant directly or with his insurer. Always insist that the negotiations be done through a solicitor who is willing to operate on a no-win no-fee basis. That way your compensation claim is much more likely to be paid in full.

Without a specialist injury lawyer acting for you, you will inevitably end up with some token payment. If you think I am exaggerating, you only have to remember what Norwich Union said some time ago. They argued that instead of personal injury victims claiming damages, they should get an apology and a bunch of flowers! Thankfully, on that occasion the Government did not listen to the insurance industry lobby.?

About the Author:
Advance Legal specialise in all kinds of employment and personal injury claims. Because they are qualified solicitors you can relax in the knowledge that you have a specialist law firm acting for you.
Personal Injury Lawyers


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