30 April 2013

Martha - Cycle injury


Martha got a nasty fright when a car,  without any indication,  turned left across her path into a side road,  forcing her round the corner with it and dumping her on the floor.   She thought she would be dragged under the car but fortunately she was thrown clear.   

She suffered a bang on the head and what are called “multiple soft tissue injuries”.   She was in unpaid work at the time but was unable to return to that work for seven weeks.

She was dependent upon a local friend to help with her young children and the housework.   
She was also quite shaken up by the whole experience.

Her claim was pusued under the Road Traffic Accident Low Value Claims Process,  such claims being conducted entirely electronically through a portal.  Under the Rehabilitation Code,  the driver’s insurer agreed to pay for physiotherapy.   Most insurers subscribe to the Rehabilitation Code and,  where liability is not in dispute (as it was not in this case),  will pay the costs of early rehabilitation treatment. The reasoning, (apart from it being good practice anyway) is that the quicker the intervention,  the more rapid the return to full health and the lower the eventual cost of compensation.   Early rehabilitation is an important benefit for an accident victim.

On Martha’s behalf we proposed settlement for a figure just exceeding £9,000.  The insurers responded with a figure of £5,500 but after a process of negotiation,  agreement was eventually reached in the sum of £8,400.  Martha received this net sum,  the insurer picking up the liability for relevant benefits that she had received from the DWP during the period of her incapacity.  

They also paid her costs in full. Payment of full legal costs will no longer be possible under new law introduced by the Government on 1 April 2013. The fixed costs payable by the insurer for successful claims have been cut by almost 60%. The victim also pays the success fee out of her damages, and the cost of insuring against the risk of losing and being responsible to pay her own “disbursements” (what the lawyer pays out on her behalf such as medical and court fees.)

Speak to us if you have had an accident which was not your fault and want to find out how much of your compensation you will pay towards your legal costs.