Mr B had stopped his car at a roundabout in Crawley to give way to oncoming traffic when another vehicle failed to stop and collided with the rear of Mr B’s vehicle causing him to be thrown forward and as a result he suffered a personal injury to his lower back, chest and ribs.
Mr B contacted Hayward Baker Personal Injury Solicitors as he wished to make a personal injury compensation claim.
Once Hayward Baker solicitors had discussed the accident circumstances with Mr B and were satisfied that he had a case, that he fully understood what was involved in making a claim and that he was happy to proceed they sent out the relevant paperwork for him to sign and return.
Once the paperwork was received by Hayward Baker they made the claim by posting the Claims Notification Form (CNF) to the other drivers (Other party or defendant) insurers via the on-line low value personal injury portal.
Mr B was informed that as the current estimated value of his claim is under £25,000, his claim is running under a scheme known as the “Pre-action Protocol for low value personal injury claims”.
Mr B was further informed that the other party now have 15 working days to respond to the form. If the other party fails to respond within the time limit, denies liability, alleges that his claim is worth less than £1,000.00 or makes an admission of liability with an allegation of contributory negligence (argument that Mr B is partially responsible), then his claim will exit this scheme. If this occurs then his solicitor will notify him at that stage advising him how best to proceed with his claim.
If the other party admits liability for Mr B’s 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 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. Mr B 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
When the initial paperwork was sent out for Mr B to sign he was sent a copy of Hayward Baker Solicitors ‘Out of Pocket Expenses Questionnaire’. He was asked to complete and return this as soon as possible and if he had any ongoing losses then he was to keep a record of these and to keep any receipts or damaged items.
The insurers responded to the claim and stated that they required more time to investigate. Mr B was informed of this and as the insurers have not admitted liability within the time frame allowed that his claim would now leave the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims. The defendant insurers now have a maximum of three months and 21 days from the date the CNF was submitted on the portal. Mr B’s solicitor informed him that they will be in contact as soon as a response on liability is received.
A liability decision had still not been received from the defendant insurers so Mr B’s solicitors chased for a response. The insurers responded by stating they wanted medical evidence of Mr B’s injuries. Hayward Baker took that to mean they had an issue with causation as they had still not given a decision on liability. Mr B’s solicitor tried calling the defendant insurers to clarify but no answer was given. Therefore Hayward Baker wrote to the insurers stating that they would obtain medical evidence and once this has been received they will issue proceedings against their insured.
Shortly after the letter was sent the insurers came back with a liability decision and liability was not in dispute and could they have medical evidence as soon as possible.
Mr B was informed by his solicitor that the insurers had admitted liability and that this meant that provided the medical report confirms he 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 B was asked if he had fully recovered, as his solicitor is now taking steps to have him 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 and to Please confirm 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?
Once a response is received his solicitor will be better placed to assess whether it is the appropriate time to arrange the appointment.
Mr B confirmed that he still had problems with his mid back, left side and chest and ribs and now he has returned to the gym this can be painful.
Hayward Baker Solicitors requesting a medical report. Mr B was informed and asked if, when he receives an appointment letter he realises he has previously seen the Doctor for treatment either on the NHS or privately, to let his solicitor immediately. His solicitor may need to cancel the appointment as it might not be appropriate for a Doctor who has previously treated Mr B to author the medical report.
The medical appointments normally take 3 to 4 weeks to come through but Mr B’s appointment was confirmed after only two days for 2 weeks time. Mr B’s solicitor write to him with the appointment details and asked that if could not attend to notify his solicitor immediately so another appointment could be arranged and that one cancelled. He was also reminded that the medical expert will be asking him the following questions:
- 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 B was told that he may find it helpful to prepare a handwritten note commenting on each of these questions to pass to the expert at the examination. This will ensure that all matters that he is likely to want to be dealt with are covered in the report.
Further his solicitor asked for details of his travelling expenses for attending the appointment with receipts wherever possible and they will attempt to recover these for him.
Mr B was also asked that when he attends the appointment he takes some form of identification with him to the appointment, such as a driver’s licence or passport to prove his identity to the medical expert.
Mr B could not attend the first medical appointment as he was out of the country so another suitable date was arranged.
PLEASE NOTE: It is always important to let your solicitor know if you cannot attend a medical appointment as you could be charged a fee for failing to attend.
The medical report arrived with Mr B’s solicitor and the medical expert had stated within his report that the injuries were as a result of the accident. Mr B was sent a copy of the report and asked to read it carefully and make sure that all factual points, upon which the report is based, are correct. If there are any inaccuracies please inform his solicitor.
If Mr B is happy with the report then he was to sign and return the signed authority allowing his solicitor to disclose the report to the defendant insurers.
His solicitor had also valued the claim at between £1600.00 to £1800.00 plus any out of pocket expenses he may have which at the moment stood at around £400.00.
His solicitor also explained that to comply with the “Pre-action Protocol for low value personal injury claims” through which Mr B’s claim is being made, the Claimant must make an offer of an amount at which they would be prepared to settle their claim.
His solicitor believed that he should make a formal offer to settle in the sum of £2,700 on the basis that the insurers will inevitably try and knock the offer down. If the offer is not accepted by the insurers his solicitor believed that they should consider accepting any offer above £1,610. 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.
If Mr B was happy with the above proposal he was asked to sign and return the enclosed authority to proceed as his solicitor suggested.
The insurers were sent a copy of the report and out of pocket expenses schedule as soon as Mr B
sent back his authority to settle the claim.
The insurers offered £1800.00 in full and final settlement of Mr B’s claim and this was accepted by him so the claim came to an end.