JMW has helped a man secure around £28,000 compensation after he lost control of a golf buggy and suffered a broken leg and loss of flesh.
Mr D was a passenger in a golf buggy that was travelling downhill on a cliff-side golf course. The driver lost control of the buggy, causing Mr D to be thrown from the buggy to the ground. He broke his left leg and lost a portion of flesh as the broken bone stuck out of his leg. He decided to make a claim and his daughter found JMW on the internet. Mr D’s claim was handled by Partner, Jason Harwood.
Jason wrote to the driver of the golf buggy, the defendant, regarding Mr D’s claim and his injuries. He also wrote to the golf club, to find out if they had public liability insurance to cover Mr D’s claim. Their policy didn’t cover Mr D’s claim so Jason continued to pursue it against the driver, who passed on the letter to his insurer.
The defendant’s insurer denied responsibility for Mr D’s accident. They claimed that Mr D leapt from the buggy whilst this was travelling at no more than walking pace down the hill. This contradicted Mr D’s story – that the defendant was driving the buggy unsafely and was in danger of going over the edge of the cliff, his severe injuries and the damage that the golf buggy had done to some signage on the course, which it had crashed into.
It was also inconsistent with the accident report from the head golf professional on the course and the owner of the club.
Jason arranged for Mr D to see an independent consultant orthopaedic surgeon to report on his injuries and give a prognosis for recovery.
The report showed that Mr D’s recovery while continuing, was complicated by the fracture being near his ankle, which had been injured 20 years earlier. He was also experiencing discomfort and swelling around the ankle, so was referred to a plastic surgeon.
The plastic surgeon recommended that Mr D be seen by a pain physician and a vascular surgeon, who could comment on the tingling sensations Mr D was suffering in his lower leg. The pain physician found that Mr D’s pain had improved and that it may improve further, but suggested medication to ease the pain. The vascular surgeon suggested it was unlikely the ankle swelling would completely resolve but highlighted that the swelling was reduced and could be further improved by using compression stockings.
Mr D was self-employed and was off work for more than a year due to his injuries. Part of his claim was for a loss of earnings, but being self-employed meant that his income was variable so calculating this was difficult. Jason hired a forensic accountant to assist.
After the calculation, Jason hired a barrister to advise on the claim. The barrister felt the prospects of the claim succeeding were good, and he suggested that we make an offer to the defendant’s insurer to settle the claim, which Mr D agreed to.
Jason made an offer to the defendant’s insurer on Mr D’s behalf.
The defendant’s insurer rejected the offer so Jason issued court proceedings on behalf of Mr D. The defendant’s insurer hired a solicitor who made an offer to settle the case. Jason felt this was too low and advised Mr D to reject it, which he did.
While Jason was preparing court documents for Mr D, he received two further offers to settle the case. He considered both of these low and advised Mr D to reject them. Mr D did and put forward a counter offer.
Jason then received another offer to settle the case. He felt this was in the region of what Mr D could achieve at court, so he advised Mr D to accept it, which he did. Mr D was delighted with what Jason’s hard work was able to achieve on an unusual, complex case.