What is a pre medical offer?
A pre medical offer (or pre med offer) is something made by the defendant’s insurance company on admitting liability for the accident and it is normally done prior to any medical report being made.
Now while accepting compensation without a medical report sounds rather foolhardy, it’s a tactical move which some insurers are making in the hope that they can avoid a lengthy and costly claims process. And that might be the reason you’d take one up. After all, some cases can go on for years. You may just want to take the money and run.
However it has more value for the insurer than the injured party, as it means saving money in damage and also legal costs, which if the case runs over a number of years could be colossal.
What is a medical report?
If you make a personal injury claim for the injuries that you have sustained in a road traffic accident, an accident at work or a trip or fall in a public place, you need to undergo a medical assessment conducted by an independent medical expert. This is paid for by the defendant’s insurer.
This assessment will determine:
- An exact diagnosis of injuries or illness.
- Exactly how long your recovery is likely to take.
- How serious the injuries are.
- Whether there are any long term implications for your health
- Ongoing rehabilitation and medical treatment that might be needed.
A medical report equips your solicitor with the means to be able to work out how much your compensation settlement might be and to negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that the money offered is appropriate to your needs.
Why agree to a pre medical offer?
- You won’t have to attend a medical.
- You’ll receive a settlement much quicker.
- There’ll be no need to attend court.
However, as tempting as this sounds you will most likely receive less compensation than you’re entitled to have and you may also not be able to recover other losses such as travel expenses and loss of earnings as well as any money you might need to help with the rehabilitation and recovery process.
It is worth noting that if you do accept a pre medical offer you cannot claim anything else in the future. So, for example, an accident in the workplace becomes a long term condition for which you need care, you cannot then go back and demand further compensation.
What if I reject a pre medical offer?
If you decline the offer, then it no longer exists. You cannot accept the offer later if you refused it or if the other party withdraws the offer. While there is often a follow-up offer, you cannot be sure you’ll actually receive one.
When a pre medical offer is made, you’re expected to take a very important decision without any evidence that it will be the correct one for you. The purpose of a personal injury claim is so that the person who has suffered will be able to return to the position they were before the accident had never occurred and if that’s not possible then award them enough money to make any necessary adjustments to their life achievable. Without medical evidence that just isn’t possible.
So while the immediacy of a pre medical offer seems great at first, there is a real risk that by accepting one you will not achieve the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
The only way to get the right amount of compensation is to prove your personal injury claims to the standard required at court. This means: obtaining medical evidence by a qualified doctor, who is instructed by an independent firm of solicitors and who represent the interests of the injured person, not the responsible party.
Most legal experts agree that pre medical offers are made for the benefit of the insurers not the benefit of their client and while the claims process may take longer you will profit far more in the long run. If you have had an accident or are unsure about accepting a pre medical offer and need the help of an experienced solicitor, we at Wafer Philips solicitors are here to help.