For the record, there is no small claims court, it is just a claim in the County Court on the small claims track, but everyone understands small claims court, so stick with that.
You will know if you have such a claim because the value will be under £5,000 (different rules for Personal Injury, but 99.9 times out of 100 those people will be represented by insurance companies).
If you deal with a represented Defendant that Defendant may attempt, before the claim is allocated, to make what is known as a Part 36 offer. This offer will state that a failure to accept the offer may result in the court taking into account your failure to accept the offer, should you not be awarded more at trial, when considering the costs of the action. It is usually produced in a very bullying way by represented Defendants.
The effect of this offer is: if you are claiming £900, and you get an offer for £800, and then when you get to trial the Judge awards you £750, the Defendant can claim their costs from 21 days after you failed to accept the offer. This is how it is presented.
Now for the important piece of information.
Part 36 offers do not apply to the small claims track.
So you can refuse and the Defendant cannot rely upon the offer they have made should you be awarded an amount lower than that which they offered.
I hope that was simple enough to follow.