Customer Story: From Accident to Compensation
Here’s an example of a case where we helped our client win over £3,000 worth of compensation for a Road Traffic Accident claim;-
In March 2016, we were instructed to act for Mrs S Akhtar of Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
She contacted us to notify she’s had been involved in a Road Traffic Accident when she had been driving home from the supermarket. Mrs Akhtar had her daughter with her.
She had been stationary at crossroads that were controlled by a set of traffic lights.
When her lights changed to displayed a green signal, Mrs Akhtar set off slowly from a stationary position.
As she was halfway over the junction, a white Vauxhall Corsa being driven by the third party approached in the opposite direction and attempted to turn right across the path of Mrs Akhtar’s vehicle.
Mrs Akhtar was unable to anticipate the third party’s manoeuvre quick enough to take avoiding action and the front of her vehicle collided with the nearside front corner of the third party’s vehicle, resulting in a moderate amount of damage to both vehicles.
The police were called to the scene but because neither party appeared to be injured at the time and insurance details were being exchanged, the police did not attend the accident location.
Fortunately for Mrs Akhtar, the male driver of the vehicle positioned behind her stopped at the scene to make sure the parties involved were okay. This man advised that he was prepared to act as a witness for Mrs Akhtar as he had seen how the accident had unfolded. He provided Mrs Akhtar with his name and address.
Although the third party was very apologetic at the scene, this did not continue to be the case.
Once details had been exchanged, Mrs Akhtar continued the short journey home.
When Mrs Akhtar arrived home, she felt fine other than being a little shocked as to what had happened. She immediately reported the accident to her insurers. She was advised that they would deal with the vehicle damage for her and she would be contacted again in the morning to make the necessary arrangements.
That evening, Mrs Akhtar awoke in the early hours of the morning with stiffness in her neck and shoulders. She had a very poor night’s sleep as a result of this, despite taking some paracetamol to help with the pain.
In the morning, Mrs Akhtar realised that the neck and shoulder pain had also moved to her back. She had noticed that she was also experiencing pins and needles down her arms and in to her hands.
She arranged an appointment with her General Practitioner. This took place a few days later. Her GP advised her that he felt she had sustained whiplash injuries to her spine and that it would just take time to resolve. He said that she should return to see him if those injuries had not eased within the following four weeks and in the meantime, she should take painkillers.
Following Mrs Akhtar’s instructions to us, we proceeded to notify the third party insurers of the claim. We explained what had occurred in the incident and what injuries Mrs Akhtar had sustained.
In addition to this, we arranged for a medical agency to contact Mrs Akhtar to discuss and arrange any rehabilitation that she may require. It was recommended that Mrs Akhtar have six sessions of physiotherapy treatment to help assist with her recovery. The treatment was arranged with a physiotherapist close to where Mrs Akhtar lived. The costs were to be submitted by us to the third party insurers.
Having chased the third party insurers for their position on liability for the collision, they notified us that they held Mrs Akhtar responsible. Their insured had said that Mrs Akhtar had driven through a red light.
We referred the insurers to the fact that Mrs Akhtar had been stationary for a while prior to settling off from the lights, that the onus was on their driver to make sure that it was clear as he had a greater duty of care than our client and Mrs Akhtar had the right of way. We also informed them that we had written to the independent witness in order to obtain a statement from them which would hold their insured responsible for the collision.
Unfortunately, at that stage, the witness had not returned to us we, therefore, had no statement that we could rely on.
We took it upon ourselves to attend the witnesses address ourselves and perhaps down to luck, the witness was at home at the first time of asking!
The witness was very apologetic and although he had received our letters, he had been extremely busy and had not got round to completing a statement for us.
We assisted the witness with the statement completion and thanked him for his assistance.
Following disclosure of the witness evidence to the third party insurers, they duly conceded liability and agreed to settle Mrs Akhtar’s claim in full.
Shortly after this, Mrs Akhtar attended a medical examination with an independent medical expert. We had arranged for this to take place within four miles of Mrs Akhtar’s home.
The medical report compiled by the doctor stated that Mrs Akhtar would require another four sessions of physiotherapy treatment. With that additional treatment, Mrs Akhtar should fully recover from her injuries within ten months of the date of the accident.
The report was sent to Mrs Akhtar to ensure that she was happy with the factual accuracy of the document. We also contacted the treatment provider again and asked that the four additional sessions of treatment recommended by the medical expert be arranged.
Mrs Akhtar was happy with the content of the medical report and wrote in to ask that we attempt to settle her claim without waiting for the injuries to fully subside. The medical report was accordingly submitted to the third party insurers with a request that they make a settlement offer.
We also submitted a claim for the travel expenses that Mrs Akhtar had occurred, along with a claim for some over the counter medication that she had purchased to ease the pain of her symptoms.
A short time afterwards, we received an offer of £2875.00 from the third party insurers.
Although this was more that Mrs Akhtar was expecting, she was happy to follow our advice to seek an improved offer from the third party insurers as the figure fell below what we expected she would receive if the matter was to proceed to Court.
We returned to the third party insurers and were informed that they were prepared to increase their offer to £3100.00. We said that we would take instructions on this, but that we considered that their offer was still too low.
Again, Mrs Akhtar was happy to follow our recommendation to reject the latest offer.
In a final attempt to avoid the need for Court action, we contacted the third party insurers again and explained that Mrs Akhtar would not be accepting their offer and that it was our intention to issue County Court Proceedings. We were able to negotiate a further increase in the sum of £3325.00. This offer did not include the cost of the treatment charges, which we recovered in addition to Mrs Akhtar’s compensation.
Mrs Akhtar was very happy with this final offer and she said that she would like to accept the offer.
A settlement payment was made by a BACS transfer a few weeks afterwards and Mrs Akhtar gratefully contacted our offices to tell us that although the accident had initially been very stressful, we had given her peace of mind that it would all be dealt with efficiently and that we would take the hassle out of making the claim. Mrs Akhtar thanked us for our help and said that she would contact us again if she ever required any legal assistance.