Posted on Jan 18, 2018 in Personal Injury by Mike Kemp
“I once performed my own brain surgery and it all went swimmingly well” said no-one . . . ever.
We all know there are times you do something on your own and times where you ask a skilled, trained person to do it for you. A recent case of mine illustrates why this applies to personal injury claims.
In March 2017 I received a call from a lady in her late 60s who had suffered a fall. The pavement that had caused her to fall and injure her knee was in a poor condition and she had required to take time off work as a result of her injuries. She had reported the matter to the local authority herself and asked them to compensate her for her injuries. Claims handlers on behalf of the council denied liability despite acknowledging that repairs had been scheduled as a preventative measure to prevent any future accidents.
My client was at a loss as to what to do next, hence the call to myself, a specialist personal injury solicitor. It is just as well she made that phone call because when I took the claim up on her behalf I was able to obtain an admission of liability and a four figure settlement.
Why is a specialist personal injury solicitor more effective? Firstly, claims handlers know that without good and sufficient reasons for a denial of liability there are likely to be court proceedings issued. Secondly, when intimating the claim we are able to set out the legal basis for the claim and make strong arguments from the outset as to why the court would find in our client's favour in the event that proceedings were necessary. Using my experience, I was able to convincingly argue my client’s case, relying on my knowledge of how the courts would deal with such a claim were it presented to them.
Even worse perhaps than liability being denied is the scenario where the claims handler would make an offer often without obtaining medical evidence. In that scenario, a low offer of around £1000 may be made but in reality the claim is worth 4, 5 or sometimes even 10 times that amount.
In this case, we were able to gather all the relevant medical information, including a specialist medical report, as well as information regarding loss of wages and other economic losses. This allowed an accurate valuation of claim to be prepared and ensured a settlement that was far in excess of what might have otherwise been offered. We know from our experience what represents a fair settlement and an injured person acting for themselves runs the risk of being offered and thereafter accepting less than they would be entitled to from the court.
The claims handlers appointed by the Council are specialists in dealing with personal injury claims. As this case demonstrates if an injured person wants to ensure they receive a just and fair amount of compensation for the injuries they have suffered through no fault of their own then they are best to enlist the services of a specialist personal injury solicitor.