The benefits of the new Pursuer’s Offer for personal injury

Car on a motorway

Kerry-Anne Thomson was injured on her drive to work after another car crashed into the back of hers on the motorway.

“For a not so serious accident, it had quite a big impact on my day to day life. I couldn’t sleep, walk the dog, go shopping on my own and I had to give up things like boxing and cycling. There were a lot of things that I took for granted that I just couldn’t do anymore.”

Ms Thomson contacted her car insurers who offered to deal with her injury claim but she wanted a good service and independent legal advice. She didn’t know who the other driver was insured by or if there would be a conflict of interest.

“My daughter was in a serious car accident – she had to be cut out the car – and she dealt with the insurers at first. They had her case for eight months and they were dreadful. They didn’t do much to help her and I didn’t want them dealing with my injury claim.

“In the end, my daughter went to Digby Brown and I knew the service she was getting. I wanted that same level of service - and I didn’t feel the insurer would be very independent.”

Personal injury lawyers in our Digby Brown Edinburgh office, acted on behalf of Ms Thomson.

“I’ve never claimed on anything before – house insurance, car insurance – so I was obviously a bit apprehensive at first. My lawyer put me totally at ease and I knew they were looking after me and my case.”

After investigations were undertaken to determine the value of compensation Ms Thomson was entitled to, our Edinburgh team put forward a pursuer’s offer of £3,750 to settle the case in full.

With recent changes in relation to personal injury, this now allows lawyers to put forward a formal proposal to settle a case, known as a Pursuer’s Offer. If the insurers refuse or delay to accept this and the court awards the same or a higher level of compensation, then the insurer can suffer a financial penalty by paying an additional compensation to our clients. This is to stop cases proceeding to court when they could have settled sooner.

However, the insurers in Ms Thomson’s case refused to accept the pursuer’s offer and the case proceeded to a final court hearing.

“I was ill at the thought of going to court but my lawyer met me there and was by my side throughout. She was absolutely excellent.”

In the end, after our lawyers presented the case in court, Ms Thomson was awarded £4,269.55 in compensation – which was higher than the pursuer’s offer.

As a result of fighting for the best outcome, the insurer suffered a financial penalty under the new rules and Ms Thomson received an additional payment of over £1,000 in damages.

“I was really happy with the outcome, and it was nice little surprise when the additional compensation was awarded. I would tell anyone to contact Digby Brown, I couldn’t fault the service."