Mr L instructed Hayward Baker Personal Injury Solicitors to pursue his claim for personal injury compensation due to a road traffic collision caused by a car driver whilst he was riding his bicycle along Rye Lane in Oxford.
The car driver without warning collided with the rear wheel of Mr L’s bicycle causing him to fall off his bike into the road and suffer personal injury to his back and ankle with cuts and bruises to his left arm and left leg.
Mr C’s appointed solicitor at Hayward Baker stated the claim via the low value accident claims portal to the car drivers (defendant) insurers. The reason for alleging fault was:
‘a) failed to heed the presence of the Claimant and his bicycle
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 bicycle
c) drove too close to the Claimant’s bicycle to stop in time or at all’
The defendant insurers response to this allegation was that their insured denied liability for the accident.
This now meant that the claim would no longer be suitable for the on-line portal scheme and was therefore removed and the defendant insurers now had more time to investigate the matter.
Evidence had to be obtained to prove that liability was with the car driver and not Mr L so his solicitor wrote to the police who attended the scene and asked for a copy of the police report to see what that would show as the accident circumstances. Unfortunately the police would not release the police report as the car driver was being taken to court by them due to the accident and that he was also in an altercation with another cyclist before the accident. Hayward Baker thought that report would surely be in their client’s favour and were happy now to continue with the medical evidence that they have and if necessary issue legal proceedings against the car driver, take him to court and let a judge decide who was at fault for the accident.
A medical appointment was arranged for Mr L so that he could be examined and the consultant would then formulate a report upon his injuries. This report would be used by Mr L’s solicitor to value his claim for compensation and as evidence in support of his claim. To aid the consultant in his examination copies of Mr L’s medical records from his GP and the hospital he attended immediately after the accident were requested.
Mr L attended his medical appointment and the subsequent report was received by Hayward Baker who sent a copy for approval to Mr L. The report stated that the injuries were consistent with the material accident. A schedule of out of pocket expenses was drafted by his solicitor and this was enclosed with the medical report . If Mr L was happy with both the report and schedule of out of pocket expenses he was to sign and return the approval forms for both and post them to Hayward Baker.
At this point the police had confirmed the Defendant had now been to trial and the outcome was that he had been charged with careless driving and fined £1750.00 and banned from driving for 12 months.
Mr L was to now attend a second medical appointment as he failed to recover from his injuries within the time period stated in the consultants last report.
Liability was still denied by the defendant insurers so Hayward Baker issued court proceedings. However the response from the insurers was now that liability was no longer denied and they wanted to see the medical evidence with regard to Mr L’s injuries and to make an offer in settlement of his claim.
A second medical appointment was still to be confirmed so Hayward Baker continued with the court proceedings just in case there was an issue raised on causation (that the injuries were not caused by the accident).
The defendant insurers had now instructed their own solicitors to represent them in Court.
The second medical appointment having taken place an updated report was formulated by the consultant who stated that if Mr L’s back injury does not recover within the next 3 months then he should see a spinal surgeon. However some months later Mr L has reported to his solicitor that his back is back in the condition pre injury. Negotiations between Mr L’s and the defendant solicitors were ongoing and the argument currently was about the value of the damaged bike frame.
An offer to settle the claim for compensation and losses were received by the defendant solicitors stating they would go to the higher figure for the valuation on the bike frame as long as the bike frame was given to the insurers upon payment. In addition an offer was made to settle the compensation claim for injuries sustained due to the accident. Hayward Baker informed Mr L that the whole offer was around £500.00 more than they expected him to get awarded in court and in their professional opinion it would be best to accept the offer rather than risk getting a lesser offer in court.
Mr L did accept the final offer for £4927.25 and the court proceedings were cancelled.