Ms B was a passenger in vehicle in Salford and when her driver was exiting a car park she pulled out into the path of an oncoming car which caused the two vehicles to collide. As a result of the collision Ms B suffered a personal injury to her back, right leg and right arm.
Ms B instructed Hayward Baker Personal Injury Solicitors to act for her in her claim for personal injury compensation.
As this case was classed a low value claim her solicitor made the claim through the on-line low value road traffic accident insurers portal. The allegations were as follows:
‘The reason why we are alleging fault is that the Defendant:-
a) failed to heed the presence of the oncoming vehicle
b) failed to slow, stop, swerve, steer or otherwise manoeuvre properly or at all so as to avoid colliding with the oncoming vehicle
c) failed to keep a proper look out
d) failed to take reasonable care in all the circumstances to protect the Claimant from injury’
The other drivers insurers (defendant insurer) acknowledged the claim within 24 hours of it being placed on the insurers portal and stated that they would now be investigating the matter. 8 days later the insurers came back with a decision on liability and confirmed that liability had been admitted. This meant that provided that the medical report confirms Ms B was injured as a result of the accident, the defendant insurers have agreed to pay her compensation, the level of compensation would be determined after receipt of the medical report.
Ms B’s solicitor now took steps to arrange for her to be medically examined by a medical expert. It will be this medical evidence that will demonstrate the injuries she sustained as a result of the accident. Mr B was asked to update her solicitor on the following points:
- Does she still suffer symptoms as a result of the accident?
- If so, what are those symptoms?
- Is she still having treatment at the hospital or with her GP?
- Is she still taking any medication?’
Once her solicitor has received a response to the above questions they would be better placed to assess whether it is the appropriate time to arrange the medical appointment.
Ms B contacted her solicitor and updated them on her current symptoms and that she was unsure whether a course of physiotherapy suggested by the insurers would help. She agreed with her solicitor that her mobile number be passed to a member of the insurers rehabilitation team who would call her and discuss possible treatment. The insurers offer this service as it helps the injured party to recover quicker and also mitigates their loss. Her solicitor informed her that they would now be requesting copy medical records from her GP as these would be required by the medical expert prior to the medical examination.
Ms B had conversed with the rehabilitation team and had a course of physiotherapy arranged and the defendant insurers would cover the cost. Hayward Baker Solicitors had received the copy GP records and therefore requested a medical appointment with General Practitioner. A letter was then sent to Ms B informing her that an appointment date should come through shortly and in the meantime could she confirm when the appointment does come through that she has never been treated by this doctor before either on the NHS or privately as the doctor is required to be completely independent.
The report arrived about 4 weeks post appointment and the consultant confirmed in his report that Ms B’s injuries were as a result of the accident. The consultant stated that Ms B should recover from her injuries within the next 3 months but advised that she has another 4 sessions of physiotherapy.
Ms B was sent a copy of the report and was asked by her solicitor if she was happy with the report and if so could she sign the approval form so it could be sent to the defendant insurers and invite settlement offers or, if she is concerned that her recovery would take longer than the prognosis given by the medical expert in his report she may wish to wait the 3 months with the possibility of having an additional report once the estimated recovery period has expired. She was also asked to provide details of any out of pocket expenses (special damages) she may have as a result of the accident such as travel expenses or loss of earnings.
Ms B signed her authority to disclose the medical report to the insurers and would like to settle now although she was having the further sessions of physiotherapy. She updated her solicitor with details of her special damages.
After the medical report was disclosed the insurers came back to Ms B’s solicitor with an offer to settle for just over £3,500.00. This offer was deemed too low by Hayward Baker Solicitors and advised Ms B not to accept it. She agreed so Hayward Baker renegotiated a settlement figure of just over £4,300.00 which was accepted by Ms B in full and final settlement of her claim to include payment of her travelling expenses to and from medical appointments.