The value of knowing how much a case is worth

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A recent case highlights the value of an individual’s legal representatives appreciating the full potential value of a case.  A woman who suffered a broken shoulder as a result of temporary local authority works, settled her case for a six-figure sum after receiving an initial offer of £5,000. 

The individual contacted Digby Brown in May 2011.  She had tripped on a temporary manhole cover that was part of works being carried out by Fife Council near her house, breaking her shoulder.

Initially, she pursued the case herself, visiting the defender's expert twice over a period of six months and eventually being offered a settlement of £5,000 by the defending insurers.

Seeking a second opinion on whether this was a fair valuation, she asked Digby Brown to advise.

Following review, the individual was advised that her case was worth considerably more than the insurance company’s offer.  Instead, she was signed up to the Compensate legal expenses and funding package. Upon being informed that that a specialist firm was now managing the case, the insurers immediately submitted an increased offer of £10,000.

This was rejected as the client developed problems in her shoulder and an infection that resulted in her being advised that they could not replace her shoulder due to the risk of further infection, leaving her with a permanent and painful fractured shoulder.  The offer was raised to £12,000.

The individuals’ condition deteriorated and court proceedings were raised on her behalf. She was totally reliant on her husband for assistance as she was unable to dress herself due to lack of mobility in her arm and she could not cook or cut up her food. Unfortunately during the process her husband died.

A tender for £14,000 was eventually received.  This was rejected and a future needs report instructed on behalf of the client.

The case settled at the pre-trial meeting for £100,000.

Digby Brown’s Client described herself as 'over the moon' and indicated she now feels set for the 'rest of her days' upon the conclusion of her claim, an important case study of the approach insurers often take, which couldn’t be further from being focused on a fair outcome for an individual who has suffered injury through no fault of their own.