Norfolk man’s injury claim settled for nine times the insurer’s original offer

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Nick Peake, a personal injury specialist at Ashtons Legal, has just settled a claim for a client which clearly demonstrates the importance of seeking independent legal advice.

Mr T, a self-employed Norfolk builder, was driving his van when he was hit from the rear by another vehicle. He was contacted the following day by the other driver’s insurers who offered him £1,000 in compensation for the injury aspect of his claim based on having mild whiplash. He was not advised to take independent advice and was told instead that he’d find it hard to claim loss of earnings because he was self-employed so that was included in the £1,000. He initially accepted.

Over the next few days, as is typical with this type of soft tissue injury, his symptoms got worse and he had to take some time off work losing earnings. He also lost time sorting out replacing his van. Mr T contacted us and we submitted a claim to the insurers. Initially, they argued that the claim had been settled, so we requested a recording of the conversation when the offer was made with a view to establishing whether it had been handled correctly. The insurers were not prepared to share their recording and, when it became apparent that we would persist, then backed down. We were able to organise physiotherapy treatment for Mr T and recover the cost. We also arranged proper medical evidence and subsequently recovered over £9,000 for Mr T, including lost earnings. This involved a battle with the forensic accountants instructed by the insurers.

Nick Peake comments: “This sort of situation is incredibly frustrating but all too common. Anyone who is on the receiving end of a quick, low offer from another party’s insurance company should initially reject it and seek both independent legal advice and professional medical advice to give themselves the best chance of not being out of pocket in the long term.”

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