Over the course of a personal injury claim, both sides may make offers to settle the claim at any time. An important type of offer that may be made is a Part 36 offer. Part 36 is a section of the Civil Procedure Rules, which govern claims. The aim is to encourage early settlement of claims. If a party making a Part 36 offer beats that offer, they will get numerous benefits, including being paid increased damages and legal costs.
Part 36 offers from a Defendant
In personal injury claims, Part 36 offers are most often made by the Defendant or their representatives. The offer will be made in writing setting out the amount offered and will be open for acceptance for 21 days. If accepted, the Defendant will pay the amount offered within 14 days of the date the offer is accepted. They will also be responsible for payment of a significant proportion of your solicitor’s fees to the date of acceptance.
When deciding whether to accept a Part 36 offer, you should always be aware that it will be in full and final settlement of your claim. This means that, should your symptoms worsen, you will not be able to claim any further payments. This is particularly important if your personal injury claim includes loss of earnings or private medical expenses.
The advantage of making a Part 36 offer from a Defendant’s point of view is that a Claimant may accept a slightly lower offer than they could achieve at trial, in order to bring their claim to a quicker conclusion. It also means that as the claim is concluded more quickly, there will be lower costs on both sides.
If a Claimant rejects a Part 36 offer and the claim is settled at trial, what happens next will depend on the outcome. If the Court awards more compensation than the Defendant offered, the Part 36 offer has no effect. If the amount awarded by the Court is less than the Part 36 offer, not only will you only receive the lower amount but the Court will likely make you pay the Defendant’s costs after the last date that the offer could have been accepted.
Part 36 offers by a Claimant
In personal injury cases a Claimant may decide to make a Part 36 offer when the Defendant is taking too long to deal with the claim or making very low offers. The potential for paying out extra compensation can force the Defendant to take the Claimant more seriously. Even if the offer is not accepted, the Defendant will often respond with an increased offer.
Field Overell LLP have a wealth of experience dealing with personal injury claims throughout Coventry and Warwickshire. Combined with expert evidence from medical specialists, we ensure our clients are able to recover the compensation they are entitled to. Contact us on 024 7622 9582 to discuss your personal injury claim.
This article is provided for information only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. No reliance should be placed on this article. You should always take legal advice from a qualified lawyer before deciding whether to pursue legal action.