Jason Claridge, Director and Personal Injury Solicitor at Ward & Rider Solicitors, recently acted for Mrs A. At the time of the accident she was crossing a road in a West Midlands City. This particular road is reasonably busy but has good visibility for those travelling along it and those crossing it.
Our client alleged that the Defendant’s vehicle was travelling at some speed and collided with her, causing orthopaedic and psychological injuries. The driver alleged she had run into his path giving him no opportunity to avoid the collision. Regrettably, West Midlands Police took the view that it was our client’s fault.
Upon reviewing the police accident report we took the view that it was highly unlikely that an elderly lady would run across the road as suggested by the driver. We also took the view that the driver should and would have been able to see her as she was attempting to cross the road and the onus should have been on him to avoid colliding with her. Consequently, we agreed to take the claim on. The insurers for the Defendant had disputed liability. We therefore had to issue court proceedings. As a consequence we decided to obtain medical evidence. Mrs A had suffered an injury to her shoulder, spine and ribs. She also suffered a psychological injury. Despite the best efforts of the NHS she did not make a full recovery.
As a consequence of her injuries we obtained medical evidence from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. He recommended reports from a Pain Consultant because of her ongoing chronic pain condition as a result of the shoulder injury and a Psychologist due to her understandable psychological injury suffered as a reaction to being knocked over whilst innocuously crossing the road. Because of the ongoing need for help and assistance we obtained a report from an expert regarding a professional care regime.
After we issued proceedings the Defendant’s solicitors still refused, under the instruction of their client’s insurers, to accept any part on behalf of their client that he was to blame for the accident. However, we always felt this was inappropriate but we decided to continue with the case. We made an offer to them to apportion the issue of fault. They accepted that because of the accident location and circumstances there was a chance that the Judge in this matter would take the view that she was at least in part to blame for what occurred. They refused to accept the offer, offering us a split in their client’s favour. They eventually advised they were looking at this case on the basis that each party was equally culpable for what had occurred. This is not something which we easily accepted but at the same time the solicitors acting for the Defendant began to make offers in respect of the value of the claim.
They started with an offer of £40,000. We responded with an offer of £120,000. They moved to £60,000 and we advised them we would take a figure of £110,000. They then increased their offer to £80,000 and after taking instructions from our client she advised she would be willing to accept £100,000. They then increased their offer to £90,000 and she took the view that she would be willing to accept this offer. We had obtained a barrister’s opinion and we did exceed the valuation he placed on the claim.
We understood from our client that her intention was to alter her home to make things a little easier which was part of the claim, along with the need for help and assistance as a consequence of the injuries she suffered and the long lasting effects which would impact upon her for the rest of her life.
We acted under a no win, no fee agreement. We are prepared to discuss any type of personal injury claim including accidents at work, road traffic accidents, tripping or slipping claims, industrial disease claims and medical negligence claims which occurred in the last three years. This is indeed a true case story, although Mrs A’s details have been changed to protect her identity.