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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70195
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was driving along and got hit by a hit and run driver.

Customer Question

I was driving along and got hit by a hit and run drunken driver. He was caught quite quickly, banned and fined £500. This was 3 years ago. My case has been ongoing, I have had time of work as self employed coach and had various medicals and test. I have been offered £7000 in total including wages lost , £3000 of which I have had in interum payments. Whilst I don'tconsider this anywere near enough I am afraid that if I take it to court and I am awarded less - I will end up paying 100,s in court cost - what would you advise?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Whether you would advise settling for £7000 out of court or what is the likelihood of getting a lot more in the courts?


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Who has made you the offer?

What injury did you have?

Are solicitors dealing with this for you?

Is this the first offer that you have had?

If you do not think that this is anywhere near enough, how much to think would be acceptable?

Of the £7000, how much is loss of earnings and how much is for injury?

Have legal proceedings been issued on your behalf yet?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The other party's solicitors.


 


Excacerbated existing back condition and post traumatic stress


 


Yes


 


Yes


 


at least 50,000


 


Don't know £3000 loss of earnings


 


no

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

Never accept the first offer!

I'm sorry to have to tell you that unless you have any kind of brain damage or permanent disability, this is not going to be worth anything like £47,000 in respect of the injuries.

If your loss of earnings is only £3000, there is unlikely to be any permanent kind of personality disorder brought on by PTS or any kind of back injury which would permanently disable you.

You therefore need two medical experts reports.

One from a psychiatrist which confirms that you still have post-traumatic stress disorder and will give a conclusion as to the long-term effects.

The other report needs to come from an orthopaedic surgeon with regard to your back. The expert would need an expert to say that your back condition was made worse by the accident and in cases like this, what they will usually do is refer to advancement of the condition, which is the situation where the medical expert will say that you would have had this condition eventually in any case, but what happened was that the accident brought it forward

Injuries are paid out on a fixed scale which is determined by the Judicial Studies Board and is amended from time to time. Each injury has its own band of lower, middle and upper limits of payout for each injury, depending on its severity. When you see that some claims have been settled for millions of pounds, the majority of that is loss of earnings and future care. That would not appear to apply here as your loss of earnings at £3000 would seem to point to that.

£4000 does seem on the low side for your injuries. I would estimate that roughly double that amount would be accurate.

If you decide to go to court on this you have to consider that if this does go to court and you get offered less by the court than is already on offer, you will have to pay the defendant's legal costs from the date of the offer and for the court hearing. What that means in effect is that you would get very little, if anything, from the injury or loss of earnings because it would all be gobbled up in legal costs. You could actually end up having to pay money out.

What I would do is ask the solicitor to put all the papers in front of a barrister for an advice on quantum. Once you have advice from somebody with full vision of the case then at least you will have a clear idea of what to aim for.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Jo

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