Q Why can’t I get full compo?
In my compensation claim my solicitor has said I need to take account of ‘litigation risk’ and is suggesting I accept a 25% lower valuation than his full valuation of my injuries and financial loss because of it. Why should I?
Andrew Evans, Birmingham
Litigation is the process of taking a case to court so that the judge can reach a decision on the outstanding issues. Most injury claims never reach court. However, because bike accidents involve more serious injuries than other accident claims more is at stake to the paying party so they are contested more often.
The ‘litigation risk’ your solicitor has mentioned is a way of settling without going to court.
The idea is that in some cases a Claimant can accept a 20-25% deduction on the value of their claim to reflect the risk of going to court and not achieving the desired outcome. That is the risk of attending court, getting a judge who is prejudiced against bikes, poor witness evidence, a sudden surprise in what is said or even new evidence at the last minute. The point being going to court is risky and litigation risk “buys off” the risk.
It is important to remember that if you end up at court it means that lawyers on each side have opposing views of what the result should be and clearly the judge will have to make a decision. That decision is can always go the wrong way.
I don’t advise accepting a reduction for litigation risk unless there are obvious risks, but when 25% is not much monetarily it often makes sense as clients don’t like attending court.
‘If you end up in court there is always the risk of the wrong result’