We achieved a substantial settlement for a client who suffered hip and psychological injuries in a traumatic head-on collision which took place in November 2013.
Our client broke his hip and has since suffered flashbacks to the accident. The other driver was a young man who sadly died in the incident. Although his earnings were modest at the time, our client had already secured an offer of employment with a financial adviser based in Jersey. He was due to start the job in January 2014, but he delayed his start date until April 2014. That job did not work out and he did not pass his probationary period. He left in July 2014.
After undertaking research, our client identified a firm of solicitors in London which promoted itself as a PI ‘specialist’. Soon afterwards, a settlement offer of £60,000 was secured by his solicitors but our client felt that he had been placed under considerable pressure to accept the offer before the full extent of his injuries and losses were investigated. He was worried that this would not be an adequate settlement given his significant ongoing limitations. He therefore carried out research into alternative solicitors and transferred his instructions to our personal injury team in late 2014. We took a different approach to the case and agreed that further investigation was needed before the claim was capable of settlement. On the evidence available, the offer of £60,000 seemed inadequate.
Once extensive testing (including 4T MRI scanning) had been arranged to eliminate a head injury, we concentrated on the psychological component of the injuries which was still having a very significant impact on our client. Interim payments in excess of £130,000 were secured while High Court proceedings were launched to keep up the pressure on the insurers facing the claim. Judgment in full was entered for our client, and although the insurers initially cancelled a settlement meeting, which was arranged for the week after the discount rate was adjusted, that meeting was reinstated in July 2017, resulting in a settlement of £1 million.
This is one of a number of cases where our personal injury team has been asked to take over an ongoing claim because the claimant is unhappy about the advice being given about settlement and/or a lack of investigation and pressure to settle the claim early while he or she is still having significant difficulties. In almost every case that we have taken on in such circumstances, we have achieved a very substantial settlement. In one case, we obtained over £5 million in damages for a brain injured client who had been advised to accept an offer of £120,000 by his previous solicitors.