UK road traffic accident solicitor explains the implications of settling a car accident claim without prejudice
Find out in a question and answer with a car accident victim why your solicitor should always seek your instructions prior to agreeing a settlement to your compensation claim, together with the effect on your motor insurance premium no claims and annual premium of a without prejudice settlement.
Road traffic accident victim question
I have contacted my solicitor dealing with my claim for a road traffic accident for which I suffered a whiplash neck injury, but my claim has just been settled without prejudice. I am aware that the other car driver was claiming compensation for injuries.
Should this settlement by my solicitor have taken place without my permission and what are the implications of settling a claim without prejudice?
I have just renewed my insurance with another motor insurer and I have been told I have a live claim so my premium has tripled.
Has this settlement by my solicitor prejudiced my motor insurance status?
Road traffic accident solicitor response
If you have a solicitor acting on your behalf a claim should not be settled without your permission and quite often this permission should be sought in writing.
There are three scenarios which occur to me in settling a road traffic accident claim without prejudice:
1. Payment of the other driver’s claim for compensation for injuries and vehicle damage
If your solicitor has agreed to pay the other driver compensation, whether this is without prejudice or otherwise, it is likely that this offer relates to vehicle damage as well as personal injury. A without prejudice offer does not mean you have accepted liability or legal fault – it indicates a willingness to compromise the claim without a formal acceptance of liability.
2. Payment of your claim for compensation by the other driver
If your RTA claim was settled with the other driver paying your compensation without prejudice. The other driver has not formally accepted liability, but has indicated a willingness to settle your claim without a formal acceptance of legal fault – this again should be for both your whiplash injuries and financial loss including car hire .
3. 50/50 settlements in road traffic accident claims
It is also possible that your lawyer may have settled your claim on a split liability basis such as a 50/50 – in a 50/50 both parties accept that they are equally responsible for the accident and compensation is payable from one party to another, but only at 50% of that claimed.
Implications of a road traffic accident settlement on your motor insurance no claims and premium
In scenario 1 and 3 above – despite the fact that liability is not formally accepted, you will be viewed by your motor insurer as having a with fault claim and as such your no claims bonus will likely be lost and your insurance premium will increase.
In scenario 2 above – your no claims bonus would likely be reinstated and little or no effect should take place on your motor insurance premium, as only in this scenario has the claim been confirmed as not your fault.
How to get free legal help with your claim
Should you wish to see the road traffic accident claims procedure form start to finish click road traffic accident.
If you would like to discuss your road traffic accident claim with me in person free of charge or have your claim assessed online click car accident claim without prejudice settlement.