Successful claim following car accident on a bend

By Richard Brett
Published: 12:11PM BST 23 Feb 2011


Access Legal from Shoosmiths obtained compensation for Mrs B, who suffered a neck injury when the car she was travelling in collided with another that was overtaking a parked vehicle close to a bend.

Background

We acted for Mrs B in a claim for personal injury compensation following a road traffic accident. The other party disputed liability for the accident and the case was heard before a judge at Croydon County Court.

The other party alleged that Mrs B lost control of her car as she came around the bend and collided with the other party's vehicle.

Mrs B maintained that the other party was on the wrong side of the road, attempting to overtake a parked vehicle which was on their side of the road, just before the right hand bend, and that as the other party's vehicle pulled back onto the correct side of the road, the offside rear corner impacted with the offside front corner of Mrs B's vehicle. 

What we did

After receiving instructions to act on behalf of Mrs B, we attempted to obtain an admission of liability from the other party's insurers. Enquiries were made with witnesses who were at the accident scene, and we obtained sketch plans, photographs and vehicle repair documents.

The other party continued to dispute liability, and after one year of being instructed, we made an offer on behalf of Mrs B to settle the issue of liability on a 50/50 split basis. This offer was rejected by the other party. 

We obtained a medical report from an independent expert, forwarded this to Mrs B for approval, then disclosed the report to the other party's insurers and reiterated our liability offer.

The other party's insurers weren't prepared to negotiate and nominated solicitors to accept service of proceedings. Court proceedings were issued in February 2010.

We handled the case efficiently throughout the process and kept Mrs B informed of progress.   

The case was heard before a judge and Mrs B was found to have been one-third responsible for the accident, and the other party two-thirds responsible. The judge found that:

  • the other party was more responsible for failing to return to their side of the road more quickly and for driving too fast in what was a potentially dangerous situation (overtaking a parked car just before a bend)
  • that Mrs B had to accept a proportion of responsibility after admitting she knew of the parked vehicle's presence, meaning there was a possibility of oncoming traffic being on the wrong side of the road
  • that Mrs B should have adjusted her driving knowing there was a possibility that the parked vehicle was around the bend, as the vehicle had been parked there for several days

We significantly beat our own offer, and our client was awarded a net amount of £2,080.25. 

In addition to the compensation for her injuries, we also recovered compensation for telephone calls, postage and travelling expenses. The court also awarded more than £22.50 interest on the compensation amount.  

Case handler

Sally Thompson is a case handler in the personal injury department. She acts mainly on behalf of claimants, dealing with a wide range of injuries and case scenarios, specialising in the court process and taking cases to trial.

Case handler comment

Our client had concerns over the case because the other party was a police officer and our client was concerned that the court would look more favourably on their evidence. However, we were able to prepare the case fully and instruct an experienced barrister to represent Mrs B, and we succeeded in achieving a better result at court than Mrs B was prepared to accept when we tried to settle through negotiations. 

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