Why a second opinion mattered for injured biker

Motorcycle on Country Road in Scotland

“If the worst ever happened again, I would come directly to Digby Brown rather than going to my insurance company and being passed to a company that don’t care.

"I didn’t know I had a choice.”

A 38 year-old man from Dundee was riding his Yamaha YZFR1 north on the A82 between Fort William and Spean Bridge when a driver pulled his car out of the junction and knocked him from his bike.

The driver hadn’t looked, and hadn’t seen him.

Thankfully, his injuries were not life threatening and he made a good recovery. However, he was left with a deformity in his left hand causing ongoing pain and discomfort and was diagnosed with an Adjustment Disorder, which meant getting back on the bike was difficult.

“It took a while for me to get into my head that everyone isn’t trying to kill you when I was out on the bike.

"I am still constantly thinking “have they seen me?”

His Legal Expenses Cover passed his injury claim to panel solicitors

At the beginning, he was passed to a panel solicitor by his Legal Expenses Insurer. This is essentially a solicitor appointed to a panel by an insurance company.

We know that most panel solicitors pay the referring insurance companies for cases, and we are also are aware that the referral fee has exceeded £1,200 in some cases.

This requirement on panel solicitors to pay for referred cases means that panel solicitors need to run cases quickly and cheaply, to get through the work and get paid to recoup the cost of buying in cases.

Sometimes, this can be to the detriment of the level of service offered.

The panel solicitor obtained a medical report and asked for permission to settle his case for £3,400.

“It was the first time I had been through anything like this, but from chatting to others, the compensation seemed very low.

"I thought there’s something just not right here so I got in touch with Digby Brown for a second opinion.”

Three times more compensation with a specialist solicitor in Motorcycle Law 

Lianda Barnes, Partner in Digby Brown’s Kirkcaldy office, specialises in motorcycle law, and agreed to take on the case.

She was able to advise that the settlement of £3,400 was not enough for the injuries he had suffered and that further medical evidence would be needed to support his case. 

“The service was night and day, couldn’t be any more polar opposites if you tried.

"Digby Brown were more thorough with my claim, brought in the psychological side of things as I can still see the crash and they brought in an medical expert to check my hand.

"The service was great and I was kept up to date with everything.”

Fighting all the way for rightful compensation

The car driver’s insurers put forward an offer when they were sent the medical evidence. However, this was not enough to compensate for the injuries and losses, and a court action was raised.

For our client, Digby Brown’s involvement meant he was able to recover over five times more than his previous solicitors recommended the case settle for.

On top of this, insurers also repaid benefits to DWP and covered the costs of his hospital treatment.

He is back to enjoying riding bikes, and working.

“Dealing with Lianda at Digby Brown I could see everything the panel solicitor missed out. They put no effort into the case and it was shoddy. I’m glad I got in touch with Digby Brown for a second opinion and would recommend them to anyone."