Mr A was walking along a pavement in Scarborough when his right leg goes through a defective man hole cover into a hole. As a result Mr A suffers a personal injury to his right leg. his injuries were a soft tissue injury to his right thigh causing pain and grazing which left 3 5cm scars. Mr A also suffered soft tissue injury to his lower back.
Mr A wished to claim personal injury compensation so searched the internet and found Hayward Baker Personal Injury Solicitors website and called them to ask if they would act on his behalf in pursuing a personal injury claim.
Hayward Baker Solicitors explained what was involved in making a claim after which Mr A stated he would like to continue and instructed Hayward Baker solicitors to pursue his claim.
Once his solicitors had received Mr A’s signed paperwork as the estimated value of Mr A’s claim is under £25,000, his claim will be running under a scheme known as the “Pre-action Protocol for low value personal injury claims”.
In accordance with the above scheme his solicitor sent the Claims Notification Form to the other party. This form provides the insurers with all the necessary information to enable them to consider his claim, and in particular detailed allegations confirming why it is believed they were responsible for the accident.
The allegations were as follows;
The reason why we are alleging fault is because you failed to maintain the road/pavement in a reasonable state of repair, contrary to the duty imposed by section 41 of the Highways Act 1980. You failed to institute a proper system of inspection of the road/pavement and/or caused or allowed the road/pavement to be or become in a state of dangerous disrepair. Furthermore you failed to warn pedestrians of the danger posed by the defect, and you failed to take any reasonable care to see that pedestrians would be safe in using the road/pavement.
Mr A was informed that the other party now have 40 working days to respond to the form. If the other party fails to respond within the time limit, denies liability, alleges that the claim is worth less than £1,000.00 or makes an admission of liability with an allegation of contributory negligence (argument that Mr A is partially responsible), then the claim will exit this scheme. If this occurs Mr A’s solicitor will notify him at that stage advising him how best to proceed with his claim.
If the other party admits liability for the accident, within the time limit, then his claim will proceed under the above scheme and the next step will be to obtain medical evidence to substantiate the injuries that he sustained in the accident.
The medical evidence will enable us to demonstrate those injuries that Mr A sustained in the accident and it would be helpful if he would provide his solicitor with a written update in relation to his current symptoms. he was asked to confirm the following:
– does he still suffer symptoms as a result of the accident,
– if so, what are these symptoms,
– is he still having treatment at hospital or with his GP
– is he still taking medication
Mr A was previously given a copy of Hayward baker Solicitors Out of Pocket Expenses Questionnaire. If this was not returned Mr A was asked to return this to his solicitor. If his financial losses are ongoing his solicitor suggested that he keeps a note of any such expenditure such as travelling expenses, prescription charges, damaged clothing etc. His solicitor asked for this information as soon as possible since a delay in providing them with this information could delay his claim.
After some time was taken up trying to identify the owner of the land where the defect was, it was finally established that it was the local water company that was responsible for the land where the accident happened.
The insurers for the water company acknowledged the claim and also admitted liability after a short investigation period.
This meant that provided that the medical report confirms Mr A was injured as a result of the accident, they have agreed to pay him compensation, and his solicitor will of course discuss with him the level of compensation after receipt of the medical report.
Mr A’s solicitor now took steps arrange for him to be examined by a medical expert. The medical evidence will enable his solicitor to demonstrate those injuries that he sustained in the accident and it would be helpful if he could provide his solicitor with a written update in relation to his current symptoms by confirming the following:
- Does 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 his GP?
- Is he still taking any medication?
When his solicitor receives a response, they will be better placed to assess whether it is the appropriate time to arrange the appointment.
Mr A responded to his solicitors request immediately and therefore a medical appointment was arranged for Mr A to be examined by a General Practitioner.
Several days after the medical appointment Mr A’s solicitor received the report from the medical expert that examined Mr A. in his report the medical expert had confirmed that the injuries were as a result of the accident and the last of his symptoms should resolve within 3 month after the date of the medical appointment.
If Mr A was happy with the medical report he was to sign and return the attached confirmation form.
Mr A was happy with the report and as he had signed and returned the form of authority his solicitor valued the claim and sent a letter breaking down the valuation to him. His solicitor considered that the court would be likely to award damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in the region of £2,100.00 to £2,600.00 and for his out of pocket expenses between £15.00 to £30.00. Taking the above into account his solicitor believes that they should make a formal offer to settle in the sum of £3,700.00, on the basis that the insurers will inevitably try and knock this figure down. If the offer is not accepted by the insurers his solicitor believes that he should consider accepting any offer above £2,115.00. If his solicitor was unable to persuade them to settle for at least this amount then they would need to consider issuing proceedings and letting the judge decide. Mr A’s solicitor will discuss this in more detail should it be necessary.
Mr a approved the valuation his solicitor had made and sent back the signed authority to disclose the claim to the insurers with the offer of £3700.00. A counter offer was received from the insurers for £3020.00 which Mr a accepted in full and final settlement of his claim.