Woman offered £500 by insurers after collision receives £37,500

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Woman offered £500 by insurers after collision receives £37,500

28th June 2012

A woman who was offered £500 in compensation after she sustained a serious injury in a car accident has received £37,500 in an out of court settlement.

“This case is just the latest example where the insurance companies make every effort to avoid paying compensation to those who are genuinely injured,” said Martin Loftus, a partner with Fentons Solicitors LLP. “While they continue to blame compensation claims for driving up premiums every year, they make derisory offers to genuine victims like my client whilst at the same time racking up enormous legal bills by fighting claims which they are clearly liable for.”

Martin’s client, a Birmingham woman in her 40s, had to undergo surgery on her injured knee and still suffers pain in the joint following the incident more than three years ago. He said that when she first contacted him, the driver of the other vehicle was refusing to admit he was at fault, and his insurer had offered to settle the claim for just £500.

“My client was driving her partner’s car in the late afternoon when the incident occurred,” said Martin. “As she approached a crossroads, the traffic signals were at green indicating she could continue straight ahead. But as she made her way through the junction, the defendant drove directly across her path. She immediately slammed on the brakes, but there was nothing she could do to avoid a collision.”

Martin said that his client banged her knee on the dashboard in the collision, and it soon began to swell up and cause her enormous pain. In the early hours of the following morning the pain had become so excruciating that she went to her local A&E department, where she had an x-ray and was prescribed painkillers.

“She was later told that she had fractured her patella, but by the time this was confirmed it had already begun to heal,” said Martin. “My client works lengthy shifts and is required to stand for most of that time, so as a result she was often in pain, particularly at the end of the day.”

When the pain did not subside over the following months, she underwent an operation to try and repair the damage. “Although this initially seemed to help reduce the pain, over time it worsened again and she still feels the knee clicking and struggles with mobility and the constant aching,” he said.

“Her condition was not helped any by the total lack of remorse from the driver. He avoided criminal charges by agreeing to undergo a driver training course, and was obstructive throughout the case. He and his insurers forced us to waste valuable time and resources preparing for a full trial on liability, only to then admit liability once we were at the Court,” said Martin.

“The defendant’s insurer initially offered her £500 to settle the claim in full,” said Martin. “This was risible given the circumstances and the effect the injuries had on my client, significantly her ability to work. All too often the injured victim is bombarded with low offers in an attempt to dispose of the case quickly and cheaply, without giving the proper consideration to the impact of their injury.

“Thankfully because she had already sought legal assistance she declined the offer to settle her claim for a disproportionately low amount, but there are doubtless many people who are falling foul to this particular practice.”

Following lengthy negotiations, Martin settled the claim on behalf of his client for £37,500.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of injuries sustained in road traffic collisions.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.