A cyclist who was hit by a car when commuting to work has secured a six figure sum in compensation despite being originally offered nearly half of the final amount by his insurers.
The car, which “recklessly” pulled out from a side road in Nottinghamshire, struck with such a force that the cyclist suffered soft tissue injuries to head, neck, shoulder, knees and lower back. Pre-existing back problems were also aggravated by the accident, which required intensive physiotherapy to aid recovery.
The extent of the injuries meant that the cyclist required six months to fully recover and was unable to return to work for five months. It was also suggested that the injuries were so serious that there could have been a real possibility that he might have lost his life.
Having rejected a five figure sum in compensation offered by the driver’s insurers, and following extensive negotiations between the claimant’s solicitors and the insurers, the final amount secured was nearly double the original offer.
According to the claimant’s solicitors the accident was not only “entirely avoidable” but had a “detrimental impact” upon their client’s life. In a statement, the injured cyclist said that, “the accident was very frightening and the injuries affected my day-to-day life for a long time.”
Despite of the “emotional and financial strain” on the claimant and his family, the solicitors also commented that the driver’s insurers “tried their utmost to dodge the real value of injuries and losses” incurred. As a result, the negotiations involved in the case were viewed as considerable.
The solicitors advised claimants against “taking the first offer” from insurance claims companies and to hire capable advocates with the “experience and determination to fight for the best result.”
Third-party personal injury claims fell by 10 per cent in 2013, according to a new report by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFA). As a result of the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), by which a claimant must now pay a fee even if they win their case, the number of third party claims has declined for the first time in ten years.
The IFA point to the new legislation appearing to have made “an impact on motor insurance claims”, reporting that the number of claims management companies(CMCs) dramatically reduced by 35 per cent in 2013. The average cost per claimant had also seen a 5 per cent reduction from £5,000 to £4,750.
Report researchers say that “the number of CMCs has now halved since 2011. Consequently, the highest frequencies of third-party injury claims – the number of claims as a percentage of the number of cars - are now being recorded in those regions with the highest volume of CMCs, i.e. London (2.2%), Liverpool (2.0%) and Manchester (2.0%).”
The report also found that insurers seemed to have responded to the reduction in claims, by cutting third-party premiums for the financial year to the end of March. It was noted by researchers that previous reports highlighted discrepancies between falls in the numbers of property damage claims and increases in personal injury claims and the high volume of small claims.
“Legal changes in 2013 appeared to have had a ‘significant impact’ on motor insurance injury claims”, said a spokesman on behalf of the working party which produced the report, adding that they “remain uncertain as to what the final impact of these changes will be, as well as that of other legal changes, such as the upcoming whiplash reforms.”