Friday, February 22, 2013
Achieving fair compensation
Digby Brown legal funding helps client achieve 3-fold increase in compensation
Mr M was a self-employed sheep shearer. While working on a farm, he was asked by the owner of the farm to enter an area between two pens which was secured by a gate which could be opened and closed by pulling a rope. The rope had a hook on it to secure it in place when not being used. Unfortunately, as Mr M went to pull the rope, the hook sprung loose and struck him in the eye.
Mr M now suffers from permanent eye damage and is at high risk of developing secondary glaucoma.
Mr M asked Digby Brown to investigate and pursue a claim against the farm to compensate him for his injuries. Following the advice of Digby Brown, Mr M rejected pre-litigation offers of £3,000 and £4,500 and proceeded to litigation. Immediately after court proceedings were raised, the farm's insurers made an offer of £12,000 - 300% more than their initial offer. Without the backing of legal expense insurance to protect Mr M in the event he failed to beat the previous offers, he would not have been able to proceed to litigation and instead been forced to accept one of the ridiculously low offers the farms insurers originally put forward.
The robust approach adopted by Digby Brown and our refusal to put Mr M in a position of accepting less than we felt he was legally entitled to meant that the insurers had no option but to advance an offer that truly reflected what Mr M was entitled to.
Injury at work case settles for over 3.5 times original compensation offer
In this case, our client was injured at work, sustaining a crush injury to his right thumb ,with scarring and loss of sensation, when a spreader beam toppled over. We advised the client that his employers were in breach of Regulations 6 & 8 of the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 1998) together with Regulation 10 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAH 2005).
Following this advice, the defenders conceded they were liable for the injury, allowing us to prepare a valuation of this case.
Pre-litigation, the defenders offered a total of £2,270, with £1,400 of this attributable to the pursuer's injuries. We thought this wholly undervalued the claim and raised a court action. The case then settled for £8,000, over 3.5 times the pre litigation offer of compensation made by the insurers.
Fife client recieves six-figure sum after shoulder injury
Our client in this case, a female in the Fife area, approached us in May 2011. She had tripped on a temporary manhole cover being used by Fife Council, breaking her shoulder.
The client had initially pursued a claim for compensation herself. Solicitors for Fife Council made her an offer to settle the case for £5,000. At this point, she approached Digby Brown to seek a second opinion on whether this was a fair offer.
Having investigated the case fully, we concluded It was not. When we informed the defending insurers that we had taken on the case, we immediately received an increased offer of £10,000.
The client’s medical problems worsened, she developed an infection in her shoulder which meant it could not be replaced, leaving her with greatly reduced mobility and totally reliant on her husband for assistance in cooking, cutting up food, dressing and other daily tasks. Unfortunately, during the case, he died.
To make sure our client received what she needed, we commissioned a ‘future needs assessment’ to evaluate the level of support and compensation she would require as a result of her injury and change in circumstances. The case settled at a pre trial meeting for a six figure sum, many times the original offer that had been made before the client came to Digby Brown.
Following the result, our client described themselves as ‘over the moon’ with the outcome and described the day she had walked into our Fife office as on the best decisions she had ever made.
Client receives almost four times the initial offer insurance company were prepared to offer
This lady was the front seat passenger in a vehicle involved in a road traffic accident. The vehicle in which she was travelling was hit from behind whilst stationary in a queue of traffic, shunting the vehicle into the vehicle in front. She sustained whiplash and an injury to her knee. She contacted Digby Brown and negotiations with the third party insurers commenced. An initial offer of £1600 was made and rejected and after prolonged attempts at a realistic settlement proceedings where raised in the Sheriff Court. Eventually the matter settled for £6000.
The dangers of allowing other sides Insurer to deal with your personal injury case
Mrs M. was involved in a high speed crash on the M74 whilst travelling on holiday. She suffered aggravation of lower back and leg problems. Esure represented the driver at fault. They persuaded Mrs M. that they could deal with the claim on her behalf. After almost 3 years of no progress and poor medical intervention Mrs M. contacted Digby Brown. After initial contact was made with Esure, they tried to advise Digby Brown that the case had been settled directly with Mrs M. for £750. This was clearly incorrect and a court action was raised where £7,500 was obtained in settlement
Insurers trying to deliberately under settle cases
The client was involved in road traffic accident caused by a third party driver . The client suffered a whiplash type injury and a soft tissue injury to his chest. The insurers made him an offer of £1,648. We were able to fund specialist medical evidence. We were able to advise the client that the offer did not reflect the true value of the case. We commenced Court proceedings against the insurers. The case settled, without a Court hearing, when client accepted an offer of £6,500. The final settlement was approximately x 4 the initial offer made by the insurers.
Road worker receives over ten times the original offer after serious accident at work
Mr S. was employed by Aberdeenshire Council as a roads worker who was trapped between a lorry and a chipping machine used to lay gravel. The machine had broken and caused the accident. Mr S. developed arthritis in both knees and was unfit to return to heavy work. An offer of £20,000 was made by his employers to settle the claim. Mr S. was retired on ill health grounds due to his injuries. Specialist reports were obtained from orthopaedic surgeons, employment consultants, consultant psychiatrists and a consultant actuary (to consider any potential loss of pension rights).
Mr S.'s claim settled shortly before a court hearing for £250,000, over ten times the original offer, compensating him for his injuries and his future loss of earnings.
Over four times the initial offered received for cyclist after being knocked down
Mr E.'s case was handled by another firm of solicitors for 2 years before he came to Digby Brown. Mr E. had been cycling his bike when he was hit by a car and trailer, near Port Glasgow. He suffered from a broken shoulder and the accident aggravated pre-existing knee problems. When Digby Brown took over Mr E's case an offer of £6,000 had been made. Within a year of having the case, Digby Brown had obtained an in depth medical report for Mr E. and his case was subsequently litigated in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The Defenders increased their offer to £10,000 which was rejected. After further negotiation with the Defenders, Mr E.'s case settled for £25,000.
The importance of speaking to a specialist firm of personal injury lawyers
Mr P. was involved in a road traffic accident in which he was hit from behind by a third party vehicle. He sustained soft tissue injuries and developed a chronic pain syndrome. Previous solicitors had secured interim payments on Mr P's behalf totalling £2852.33 and advised Mr P. that on the basis of the medical evidence, the third party insurers were not going to make him any further offers.
Digby Brown took over the handling of his case and instructed a report from a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist. Proceedings were raised in the Court of Session and Senior and Junior Counsel were instructed on Mr P's behalf. After negotiations with the defender's solicitors, Mr P's case settled for £300,000 gross of benefits received.
Don’t DIY your PI case
Mr M. was involved in a road traffic accident in August 2009. He initially dealt with the insurance company of the negligent driver directly rather than seeking the assistance of a solicitor. Mr M. suffered a whiplash injury to his neck and was having substantial on-going symptoms. The insurance company offered to arrange an examination by their own medical expert. On the basis of the report from their expert, the insurance company offered him £1,300. When he rejected this, the insurance company increased the offer to £1,400. Mr M. was unhappy with the offer and contacted Digby Brown. After arranging a report from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, it became clear that his injuries were much more extensive than the insurer’s expert had indicated. After raising an action in the Court of Session, Mr
M.’s claim settled for £7,500 – over five times the original offer.
Mr M said after his case settled, “I was very pleased with the outcome and would like to thank you for all your help during the last 18 months.
I would like to say it was a privilege to work with such a professional company and would certainly have no hesitation in recommending you or your company to others.”