Mrs S was sitting having a meal at a curry house in St Albans with her family. When the waiter was delivering the food to the table he dropped hot masala sauce onto her causing burns to her legs and arms.
Mrs S instructed Hayward Baker Solicitors to pursue her claim for personal injury compensation along with her Mother who took most of the spillage and also suffered severe burns.
As this was a low value claim Hayward Baker made the claim through the insurers on-line claims portal and made the following allegations against the owners of the restaurant:
That the Defendant has failed to ensure that the Claimant was reasonably safe whilst on their premises. The facts speak for themselves that the Defendant’s employee, servant or agents were negligent in carrying the hot food in that they caused it to be spilt on to the Claimant causing a burn and/or scalding injury.
On this case although the insurers took their time to confirm their position on liability but this was eventually admitted and this meant that Mrs S would receive compensation for her injuries from the restaurants insurers as long as the medical report stated that the injuries sustained were due to the accident.
Hayward Baker Solicitors now took steps to arrange a medical appointment with a medical expert who would examine Mrs S and formulate a report upon her injuries.
A few weeks after the medical appointment the report arrived at Mrs s’s solicitor who sent a copy of the report to her and a covering letter explaining that the medical expert has stated that the injuries are consistent with the accident circumstances. The medical expert also advises there is a faint scar to her right lower leg and no other physical scars. The expert also recommended that she see a physiologist for the anxiety and lack of sleep post accident.
Mrs S now asked for an interim payment of a thousand pounds from the defendant insurers. Should this payment not be made within 10 days then the claim will no longer be running via the insurers on-line portal. The reason for this is the portal is designed to keep the legal costs down and speed up the whole claims process. There are rules associated to claims running on the portal and breaking any of these can result in the claim being removed.
The insurers acknowledged the request for an interim payment and at the same time made an offer to settle the claim now for £2000.00 and if this was accepted then the case would come to an end. Mrs S was advised of the offer and that she had 21 days to accept the offer after which it could be withdrawn and the terms of the offer changed so that it is less advantageous to Mr S. Her solicitor also advised that it was a fair offer considering there is only one visible faint scar so unless Mrs S could provide photographs to the contrary then the likelihood of the offer being increased is unlikely.
Should Mrs S reject the offer then her case would continue and her solicitor in receipt of photographs showing more visible scarring could then ask the expert to amend his report. if there is no further scarring then if we proceed to issue proceedings and at trial the court offers a sum less or equal to that which was offered Mrs may be ordered to pay some of the insurers court costs. The report from the Psychologist may or may not increase the value of her claim.
10 days had now passed since the request for the interim payment and no payment had been received and that Hayward Baker had also not received stage 2 costs so the claim was removed from the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims process. Mrs S was advised of this and advised to refer to the personal injury leaflet which was sent to her with her original paperwork for further details on the effect of leaving this particular claims process. Her case was now transferred to a more senior member of staff at Hayward Baker Solicitors.
An appointment with a psychologist had now been arranged as Mr S did not want to accept the offer to settle now and wished to obtain further medical evidence regarding her anxiety and sleep disturbance. Mrs S attended the appointment and the report that followed stated that she had a mild emotional distress which could be helped to resolve within 12 months if she had EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment).
Mrs S was sent a copy of the report explaining what the expert said in his report and that she should undergo 8 sessions of EMDR treatment.
Mrs S wanted to settle her claim now and not to have the EMDR treatment therefore her solicitor, having receiving the signed authority to settle the claim, disclosed the two medical reports along with a copy of Mrs S’s schedule of loss (out of pocket expenses) asking that they make an offer to settle the claim within the next 21 days or Hayward Baker solicitors will issue proceedings.
An offer was received for £2500.00 and Mrs S was advised by her solicitor hat the offer is fair being £500.00 better than their first offer and that she had not undergone the EMDR treatment. She was advised that should she reject the offer then there was a good chance that should the case proceed to trial she may be awarded less and she may be liable to pay the defendants costs which would be any amount not exceeding the amount of compensation that was awarded to her.
Mrs S signed the authority allowing Hayward Baker to settle the claim now for £2500.