Mr S from Essex was a front seat passenger in a vehicle which was stationary at a set of traffic lights on red outside Fenchurch St Station in London. A van which failed to stop at the red light collided with the rear of Mr S’s vehicle and as a result Mr S suffered a personal injury to his neck and back.
Mr S instructed Hayward Baker Personal Injury Solicitors to pursue his claim for compensation. Mr S was explained how making a claim works and exactly how much input would be required from him throughout the life of the claim before he signed any agreements.
As the case was a low value road traffic accident Mr S’s insurers made the claim through the low value road traffic accident on-line portal. The idea of the portal is to help reduce legal fees and speed up the claims process. The allegations made against the van driver were as follows:
The reason why we are alleging fault is that the Defendant:-
a) failed to heed the presence of the Claimant’s vehicle
b) failed to slow, stop, swerve, steer or otherwise manoeuvre properly or at all so as to avoid colliding with the rear of the Claimant’s vehicle
c) drove too close to the Claimant’s vehicle to stop in time or at all
The van drivers insurers acknowledged the claim within 24 hours and said they would now investigate the claim. When the insurers contacted Hayward Baker solicitors again they requested more time to investigate the claim and because they have not admitted liability within the time frame given, the claim now had to leave the on-line portal process. The defendant Insurers (van driver insurers) now had 3 months and 21 days from the date the claim was submitted to the on-line portal to conclude their enquiries.
The date arrived when the defendant insurers were supposed to confirm their position on liability so the next steps taken by Mr S’s solicitor at Hayward Baker was to write to the insurers and as they had not heard anything from them, state that they were now proceeding on the basis that liability is disputed. The insurers were asked to disclose all information relating to the accident within the next 14 days else they would make an application to the court so that the insurers would be ordered to make disclosure and that any costs involved they would seek an order from the court that the insurers are liable for these costs.
Within 7 days the insurers had confirmed that liability was admitted which meant that provided that the medical report confirms you were injured as a result of the accident, the defendant insurers have agreed to pay Mr S compensation. In the meantime Mr S was asked to confirm the following:
- Do he still suffer symptoms as a result of the accident?
- If so, what are those symptoms?
- Is he still having treatment at the hospital or with you GP?
- Is he still taking any medication?
Once the answers are received for the above questions Mr S’s solicitors explained they would be better placed to assess whether it is the appropriate time to arrange the medical appointment.
Mr S confirmed that he had now recovered from his injuries so an appointment was made with a General Practitioner who would examine Mr S and then formulate a report upon his injuries. Mr S was informed when the appointment was to take place and that he should make sure he could attend and if not he should contact his solicitor as soon as possible. Mr S was asked to inform the medical expert of the following:
- Details of all injuries suffered and their immediate affects upon every aspect of his life;
- What treatment he has been given in relation to each injury and what treatment he is presently undergoing and have been advised that he might need in the future;
- Details of any continuing disability and the affect that this has upon his home life, employment, hobbies or pastimes etc that he enjoyed prior to the accident.
Mr S was told that it may be helpful to prepare a handwritten note commenting on each of the above questions to pass to the expert at the examination. This will ensure that all matters that he wants to be dealt with are covered in the report.
Four weeks after Mr S attended his medical appointment his solicitor at Hayward Baker received the medical report. The consultant confirmed in his report that the injuries that Mr S sustained were as a result of the accident and that Mr S should fully recover from his injuries within the next 3 months. Mr S was advised that he could settle his claim now on the basis of the report or wait until the 3 months has expired and see if he has fully recovered from his injuries.
Mr S on receipt of the medical report decided to settle his claim now and so he posted the signed authority to his solicitor. The medical report along with a copy of Mr S’s out of pocket expenses was sent to the insurers inviting them to make an offer in settlement of the claim. Upon receipt the insurers made an offer for £3250.00 which was rejected by Mr S so his solicitor managed to negotiate a final figure of £3400.00 in full and final settlement of the claim.