Mr X was driving his car to a gym to keep up with his weekly exercise regime. It was a journey he had made hundreds of times before. As he waited at a set of traffic lights, his car was struck from the rear by another vehicle. He immediately felt pain in his spine. In the past, he had suffered from back pain although he had not had any symptoms for some years. Says Jason Claridge, Personal Injury Solicitor and Director at Ward & Rider Solicitors: After the incident, he spoke to the other driver who said that he had lost concentration at the point of the accident. Details were exchanged. Instead of going to the gym, Mr X went to his local Accident & Emergency Department in the Midlands. They examined him.
Because he had previously suffered with back problems, the Doctor arranged for scans to be taken of his spine to make sure there was no damage to the discs in his back. Thankfully the scans showed there was no structural damage to his back. Mr X, however, continued to suffer from pain in his back. Because he was not recovering, he went to see his General Practitioner who prescribed medication. He also suggested he engage in some sort of rehabilitation. Mr X was already seeing, following the accident, a physiotherapist whose advice was to continue with this.
Regrettably, the accident also caused Mr X psychological trauma. He had never been involved in an accident like this before. It worried him that he was going about his everyday business and completely out of the blue, the accident had occurred. He found it all worrying, upsetting and troubling. He felt anxious and uncertain in his car. He became hesitant and cautious. He became reluctant to drive his car. He became upset by the driving of other road users and kept thinking about the accident. This was reinforced by the continued pain he was suffering as a result of his neck and back injuries..
Because of his physical injuries, he struggled with activities at home. He found that carrying heavy shopping bags hurt his neck. He found bending down to load and unload shopping bags hurt his back. He did not do the usual DIY tasks that he would normally do including painting and decorating and working on the heavier tasks in his garden such as weeding and planting plants, putting gravel on his drive as well as some of the heavier household chores including carrying a full washing basket, ironing, changing beds, carrying the hoover up and down the stairs and cleaning his bathroom and kitchen. Mr X was single and living with his parents. He relied on his family to help him out. He decided to have his driveway changed so he had blocks put down to avoid the need for him to buy bags of gravel from time to time..
Because of his injuries, we instructed an orthopaedic surgeon and a psychologist. The orthopaedic surgeon felt that he had recovered from his neck injury, which he clearly did, but regrettably he did not recover from his back injury due to his pre-accident vulnerability. The psychologist felt that, with treatment, he would recover within three years from the date of the accident and without treatment, it would be six years. We completed a schedule of loss for him and submitted the medical evidence to the Defendant’s insurance company. They made an offer of £1,500. They suggested that Mr X had fairly trivial injuries. Because we were so far apart, Mr X instructed us to issue Court proceedings, which we duly did. The insurers then instructed a firm of Solicitors. Having looked at the file, they made him an offer of £15,000. Again, this was not enough bearing in mind the injuries that he suffered and the incapacity that he had. We rejected the offer and advised them that he would settle for a figure of £25,000. They improved their offer to £20,000. Mr X did not want to run the risk of taking the matter any further. He advised he calculated that on his current earnings and savings rate, it would take him over 30 years to save this amount of money. It allowed him to pay off a significant amount of his mortgage and consequently, he instructed us to settle the claim.
We acted on a no win, no fee basis. We are used to dealing with a range of personal injury claims including traffic accident claims, accidents involving people who have slipped or tripped and been injured, people who have been injured at work, people who are injured by the negligence of Doctors and others. We can be contacted on: 02476 555400 or at our offices at 2 Manor Yard, New Union Street, Coventry CV1 2PF.