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Pressure by Insurers to Settle - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers

27/09/14. There’s a real tension, I think, between finishing a catastrophic injury claim quickly, and getting the right result. Insurers seem to me to be pushing hard in many cases to have early meetings, to become involved in rehabilitation, and they use that process to pave the way for early settlement discussions. Nothing wrong with that, but the problem it creates for claimants is that they can be put under huge pressure. The insurer dangles a large sum of money under the claimant’s nose, and he or she may find it difficult to resist. That is particularly so when the lawyers are telling the claimant and family that they should wait a year or two, or more, in order to see how independent the claimant can become.

An additional problem is that you can't avoid the pressure on the claimant by warning them in advance. I had an interesting experience recently; I warned the family that this pressure would arise, and precisely how the insurance company representative would try to manoeuvre them into a difficult situation, but they allowed it to happen, and accepted far less than I thought they would get.

Bill Braithwaite QC
Head of Exchange Chambers
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