I have been involved in a long running personal injury action — liability is not in dispute. I was heading one way up a street and there was solid traffic backed up in the opposite lane. A car driver decided that he wasn’t going to wait anymore and chucked a u-turn alongside me, causing me pretty serious leg fractures.
The case is coming up for trial, and my Solicitor is panicking because I have been videoed. I’ve said to my doctors and to the Department of Work and Pensions that I can’t walk for more than 50 metres, and there is video evidence showing me walking about 400 metres, even though I am walking with a limp, and I’ve also said that I cannot walk without a crutch, and the video evidence shows me walking that distance without a stick. I feel that my doctors and Solicitors have put words into my mouth because I’ve said to them (and I felt they were encouraging me to say) that it was impossible for me to walk without a stick.
My Solicitors have said they are no longer prepared to represent me. There’s been an offer made to Court, about a quarter of what my Solicitors said I should have accepted initially, but they’re now telling me to take it, and they’re also telling me that of the £55k which is on offer, about £30k of that will be going back to the car driver’s insurance company to pay costs. Am I being done over here?
If you are being done over, you have done yourself. You might have felt encouraged to exaggerate your symptoms, but I doubt your Solicitors advised you to exaggerate your symptoms.
Put bluntly, you are in an enormous amount of trouble with your case. You’ve been shown to be dishonest, and you have also been shown that you claimed benefits dishonestly. You told the DWP you could not walk for more than 50 metres and you clearly can. The one thing the judge is going to find as a matter of fact about you, is that you are a liar.
I know that your Barrister will fall back on the ‘good days/bad days’ argument that you happen to have been caught on video a good day, but judging on the amount of video footage there is of you, you have had quite a lot of good days. If you do press on, you run a serious risk of the judge taking it upon himself to report your conduct to the Attorney General with a view to either contempt or perjury charges being brought against you. Unless you can show something wherein your Solicitors specifically advised you to run a fraudulent claim, then you have nowhere to go.
What’s interesting is that on the days you were going to your medical examinations, so your whereabouts would be known, you are seen limping and hobbling, almost collapsing whilst using a crutch, but on days where you are going about your ordinary business you are walking, a bit slowly, and with quite an obvious limp, but it is quite different to how you presented it to the Doctors.
The burden is on you to show that you have some sort of reasonable excuse for this because, for me, it looks as though you have been at best exaggerating and at worst dishonest. The problem is that whatever you say now, the judge will regard your evidence as flawed and unless it’s completely backed up he’s likely to find against you. You’re also going to be in difficulty showing this accident has cost you your working career, as your job is semi-sedentary and your case that you are in so much pain that you cannot concentrate on your work, is not supported by the video evidence. Because pain can’t be demonstrated it relies on the judge believing you, and the one thing the judge will certainly find out in this case is that you are not reliably truthful, so is unlikely to believe you.
Fast Bikes October 2012
Andrew Dalton has been writing articles for Fast Bikes Magazine for a considerable period and have condensed what we believe are the most useful articles to you. White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors deal with personal injury claims and our sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deal with any road traffic offences.