The impact caused Ms H a whiplash injury to her neck and pain and swelling to her right arm and hand. Ms H also suffered from anxiety when driving.
Hayward Baker Personal Injury Specialist Solicitors were instructed to deal with Ms H’s claim for personal injury compensation and stated the claim through the low value road traffic accident on-line portal. The allegations made against the other driver were as follows;
‘The claimant considers the defendant to be at fault for the accident because the defendant failed to observe or heed the presence of the claimant’s vehicle and did not drive, steer, brake or control his vehicle in such a way as to prevent colliding with the rear of the claimant’s vehicle, and also failed to maintain any or any adequate or safe braking distance between their vehicle and the claimant’s vehicle.
As a result of the defendant’s negligent driving the claimant sustained personal injury, loss and damage.‘
Five days after her solicitors stated the claim on the portal the defendant insurers came back with their response that liability had been admitted for the accident and made a pre medical examination offer to settle the claim for £1800.00. Without medical evidence if was not possible for Ms H’s solicitor to advise her whether this was offer was reasonable. Miss H was advised that if she accepted the insurers offer the case will end now. If the offer is rejected she was advised that the claim would continue and a medical appointment would be arranged with a General Practitioner who would examine her and then formulate a report upon her injuries. Miss H’s solicitor made it clear that should the medical evidence indicate a financial value in the region of the current offer of £1,800, you would not then be entitled to any further compensation simply on the basis that you waited for that evidence. The financial value of the claim is based on the injuries that she sustained and how long they take to resolve, not the duration of the claim itself.
Miss H did not accept the initial offer put forward by the defendant insurers and a medical appointment was arranged for a future date. Miss H was asked to now provide details of any out of pocket expenses (Special Damages) that were due to the accident. These would be any travel expenses to and from medical appointments, any medical expenses such as heat packs and prescriptions etc.
The medical report was received a few weeks post appointment date and stated that the injuries have not all resolved and the Post traumatic stress causing driving anxiety will take at least 6 months post accident date to resolve. Physiotherapy was recommended to help resolve the left shoulder injury.
Hayward Baker arranged for the physiotherapy treatment and this would be paid for by the defendant insurers. Once the treatment was completed a discharge summary was sent to Hayward Baker who would use this along with the original medical report to value the personal injury claim.
Ms H’s solicitor write to her having reviewed all of the medical evidence, quantified the out of pocket expenses and taken into account the bill for physiotherapy that an offer made to the defendant insurers to settle the claim should be a figure of £5000.00. She was advised that the insurers will inevitably try and reduce this figure and that she should consider taking any offer over £4000.00. Miss H was also informed that should their offer be rejected and a counter offer made of less than £4000.00 then they could consider issuing proceedings and let a judge decide the amount of compensation that should be awarded. If this was the case then then her solicitor would contact her and let her know the risks of taking the case to court.
Miss H agreed to the advice given to her by her solicitor and signed an authority for her solicitor to make an offer of £5000.00 but would accept anything over £4000.00 and that the bill for physiotherapy of £350.00 would be taken out of any amount agreed.
A final settlement figure was agreed of just over £4000.00.