What are ‘without prejudice’ claim offers?
A without prejudice claim offer is where an insurer is able to offer settlement for a claim without having to formally admit liability for any injuries or losses. A without prejudice claim offer demonstrates an insurer’s willingness to cooperate and their desire to compensate a claimant without needing to progress with lengthy and costly legal cases.
In these types of settlements, negotiations for final compensation sums are arranged ‘without prejudice’, which means that any offer given cannot be used in a court should proceedings progress this far. This means that without prejudice offers cannot be used if a case proceeds to legal processes by way of evidence that the insurer admits liability. However, if a court considers such an offer as having been made without a true desire to resolve the dispute, there will be an exception to this rule.
Many claimants are keen to accept a without prejudice offer from an insurance company as it allows them to access a settlement figure more quickly and avoid the inconvenience and costs of a legal case. However, a claimant has the right to decline an offer if they believe that the sum is too little or that the insurer is being unreasonable. In such instances, a court case may be necessary in order to reach a final settlement.
Claimants who have received a without prejudice claim offer are wise to seek the advice of a solicitor before accepting or declining the settlement amount to ensure that they receive a realistic and fair sum.