Contentious Road Traffic Accident Results In £52,315.27 Compensation
The Law Of... leaving no detail uncheckedIn the immediate aftermath of a serious road traffic accident the work of the police is vital in establishing the circumstances of the incident; however what happens when their investigations results in the party that is to blame for the accident being overlooked?
Explaining a recent case, Jonathan Grundy – part of the Serious Injuries team at Simpson Millar LLP
– highlights why it's vital for solicitors to visit the scene of an accident and see a client face to face, so they can draw their own conclusions on how events transpired.
Pub Trip Turns Sour
On a walk home from a local pub, our client has hit by a car while crossing the road, resulting in massive orthopaedic injuries that mean he will not be able to work or walk unaided ever again.
Having just left the pub, it was claimed that our client was drunk and had crossed the road without due care, resulting in the accident that caused the injury.
Our client was first in contact with another law firm, who not only ruled that he was at fault, but also contacted the defendant's insurance company to inform them that the claimant had no case and were no longer representing him.
This left the claimant in a precarious position, as he was no longer able to earn an income at work and was told by a law firm that he had no case.
Questioning Police Report
When the claimant reached out to Simpson Millar it was clear that there were some contentious issues relating to the police report of the incident.
Taking on the case, Jonathan noticed that the report seemed biased, placing all of the blame on the claimant.
As with most the cases Jonathan handles, he decided to visit the victim and the scene of the accident, so that he could develop an understanding of the circumstances first hand.
In the aftermath of the accident the police had assumed that our client had been drunk, because he was coming home from the pub, however Jonathan sought evidence from witnesses and established that this was not the case.
This raised further questions about the police report and soon our client admitted he did not remember taking part in a police interview, which took place at the hospital after surgery, when the claimant was still feeling the effects of pain medication.
Other points of contention included the fact that the police claimed that the driver of the vehicle was not travelling too fast, they simply had no time to react to our client stepping onto the road, as he allegedly entered the road between two cars.
This was another claim that was debunked by further investigation, as Jonathan sought the opinion of a medical expert, who judged that the severity of our client's injuries was synonymous with a high speed collision.
Presenting Fresh Evidence
Putting forward the new evidence, Jonathan raised a compensation claim with the defendant's insurance company, who reviewed the injuries suffered by our client, as well as all of the fresh evidence gathered by Jonathan, and made a settlement offer.
Through some negotiation, our client eventually received compensation amounting to £50,000, which was crucial in helping ease the financial burden caused by their serious injury.
Jonathan explains the significance of the settlement offer:"This was not an easy case and we did have to concede that our client was partly at fault for the accident, which is why the settlement amount was less than it could have been.""Despite our client being partly to blame, it is completely unfair that another law firm – and the local police – did not accept his claim, or any part of his version of events, at all and just completely dismissed him.""This case is significant because it highlights that things are not always as they seem and – while the settlement will not repair the damage done by the accident – the outcome of this case gave the client and his family a lot of satisfaction and peace of mind that this accident was not all his fault. It was also a personal point of pride for me, as I took the time to research the evidence first hand and it resulted in my client's financial burden being eased somewhat.""It just shows that a good, experienced, solicitor knows when to look beyond the obvious facts of the case. The developments in this case highlight the reward that comes in to putting in the hard work on behalf of a client."