Students hounded to accept low offer for car accident claim

Young couple looking thoughtful

Two students were involved in a car accident in the west of Scotland after another driver cut directly in front of them, causing a head on collision.

“The car accident shouldn’t have happened. The police were baffled and said they don’t know how the other driver had done it, it was totally preventable. The accident was caused out of stupidity.”

A few days later, they were hounded by the other driver’s insurance company who put a great deal of pressure on the couple to settle for a very low offer – without even asking for evidence about what happened to them.

Insurers didn’t collect any evidence to support car accident claim

“I had no idea what to do and the other drivers car insurers called days after the accident. They didn’t bother to ask for any details of the crash and they didn’t confirm anything we said – no pictures of injuries or crash – or confirming I’d even went to hospital.

“When I asked why they didn’t want any evidence the insurance company said they didn’t think I was lying.”

Insurers mislead couple about other drivers’ insurance

The insurers also misled the young couple and said the driver that caused the accident wasn’t insured - but they were still willing to pay compensation for their injuries.

“From hearing from others, insurance companies are reluctant to pay out but they seemed so happy to give us money a week after the accident, it felt weird and didn’t add up.”

Independent advice about insurers compensation offer

“My family said get legal advice but there was a worry that we wouldn’t get any compensation as the other driver wasn’t insured. This was a huge concern as the car had been written off and my boyfriend needed to get a replacement car.

“I also contacted Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and they were confused when I told them the story and encouraged me to seek legal advice - and not to use the legal insurance company.”

Insurers put pressure on couple to accept low offer

The insurance company continued to hound the young couple, putting pressure on them to accept the offer.

“I told them this wasn’t a good offer but they kept saying it was and were actually shouting down the phone telling me the advice I got was wrong – I was sitting crying on the phone and asked him not to call again.”

After that, the couple decided to get lawyers involved as the stress was too much.

Car insurers taking advantage of young students?

“I absolutely believe they were trying to take advantage of us as they could see we were young students and didn’t know what we were doing.

“They knew even though their offer was low, that’s a lot of money to a student and thought we would accept.”

Digby Brown recommended for car accident claim

The couple came to Digby Brown Solicitors to pursue their car accident claim after the firm was recommended by friends.

Personal injury lawyers at Digby Brown’s Glasgow office, confirmed the other driver was insured, and there was a case for a claim.

“The stress was gone. Everything was taken out of our hands. The insurance company stopped calling after they knew Digby Brown was on the case.”

Rightful compensation for car accident

With Digby Brown’s specialist legal help from personal injury lawyers, they managed to raise the initial offers of 1,250 to £7,000 and £5,000 for both students for their losses and injuries, which helped towards buying a new car after the accident.

“For me, it wasn’t about the money but showing the insurance company they couldn’t take advantage of young people like that.

“They didn’t take us seriously because of our age or appreciate the emotional side of what happened. We lost a car, we were injured. Our life changed and they didn’t care.

“I was off for about a month and had to catch up at university. I was very active before the accident and trained in Akido, a martial art, for years but all that training has been undone, and I’m right back to the beginning.”

What would you tell others making a claim after a car accident?

“I would tell them not to talk to insurance company, but go straight to a lawyer. There was a lot of stress and drama before we got solicitors involved but if you have any doubt, get legal advice.

“My whole world was turned upside down after the car accident and the insurance company didn’t care but our solicitor did.

“Our solicitor was amazing. If anything happened, she emailed straight away and kept us up to date with everything that was going on.

“I would also advise others if you are receiving physiotherapy to wait until you've completely finished before accepting the settlement as if you find something wrong after this, you will no longer be covered by an insurance company.

“I hope no one goes through what we did.”