Chasing compo

Chasing compo

No one wants to be put out by an accident, but lying or exaggerating your claim for extra cash is never a wise move.

I was involved in a fairly nasty bike accident two-and-a-half years ago. I suffered a twisting fracture to my right ankle, which needed three operations.

My parents and I agree that I am not fit for work, as I am in constant pain. My doctor is totally unsympathetic and eventually, after my mum had a massive go at him, referred me to a pain clinic, about 30 miles away from where I live. I was seen by a very arrogant so-called ‘pain specialist’, who discharged me, saying that I should be able to control my pain with over-the-counter paracetamol.

The insurers for the other driver have offered me £25,000 for my ankle injuries and a year’s loss of earnings, but after that, nothing. Prior to the accident I had a zero hour’s contract warehouse job, but I earned about three hundred pounds a week take home on average.

My solicitors clearly do not believe me about the pain I am in, but have said: “If you want a pain expert’s report, you will have to pay for one” – they will not pay for it themselves, which is clearly their duty. I have tried to switch to other solicitors, but no one will touch this claim. I am at my wits’ end. What can I do?

Answer

I think your best plan is to follow your solicitor’s advice. Your fracture is a serious one. I do not doubt that. However, in the documents that you have sent me, it is clear that this is not an ‘end all work’ injury. The pain clinic letter to your GP uses language which is unusually strong, and the pain clinician is calling you a liar. The letter reads; ‘There was an exaggerated response to stimuli which was inconsistent’, and unusually, the pain consultant said that “I note this young man is involved in litigation, which seems to be a motivating factor”, and he also refers to your mother consistently intervening on your behalf and answering for you. I cannot see why this NHS specialist consultant anaesthetist would lie. Your solicitors have given you very clear advice about ‘fundamental dishonesty’ and they are wise to.

If you advance a hopeless case, based on you never working again in your early twenties until retirement from a nasty, but unremarkable broken ankle, when the pain expert has said “take some paracetamol and man up”, then the insurers will have you under constant surveillance. Good luck pretending to be so broken that you cannot walk for the rest of your life, for the slim chance of you persuading a Judge to make an award against all of the evidence of you never working again.

You also sent me the orthopaedic report, and I know the orthopaedic surgeon who has reported is absolutely dead straight and he says: “There is no clinical or orthopaedic cause for the pain this young man complains of”. This is all code for the Judge. The surgeon does not say there is pain, he says that you complain of it. He does not say that you are lying, hut he is telling the Judge that he is politely calling ‘bullshit’ on you.

Please do not fall into the trap of thinking a broken ankle is a meal ticket for life. There is what seems to me to be a proper award on the table. Listen to your solicitor, not your mum. She might think that she is helping, but honestly, legal advice is usually better from a solicitor than your mum. You could potentially go to jail for a bent claim, and even if you are in pain the evidence really does not support it. Everything about your case has a very strong flavour of exaggeration.

I am neutral in this. I looked at your evidence and formed the view that you are dishonest, and I also formed the impression that the dishonesty is being forced upon you by your mum. She will not be the one either doing prison time for a fraudulent claim, and that is a real risk for you, but I can tell you almost as a matter of certainty that the total award of about £40,000, which is currently on offer, is likely to be seized back by the insurance if the Judge finds, as I think the Court almost inevitably will, that your claim is a fraudulent exaggeration, and you will have to give it all back. Think very carefully before you go any further. I cannot see this ending well for you.

Andrew Dalton

Fast Bikes Magazine – August 2019

Posted by Andrew Dalton. Last modified: July 19, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focused on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.
Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.

Comments

  1. Peter WalkerMarch 20, 2020

    Wise words

  2. Dennis PhillipsMarch 21, 2020

    You may wish to add the comment that should he be found guilty of presenting a fraudulent claim the judge would most likely allow a counter claim by the insurers for costs and expenses incurred.
    Dennis

  3. 40,000 grand..?! Take it and quit complaining. Although my ankle wasn’t broken it was seriously bent sideways and even after nearly seven years it still goes stiff and twinges sometimes and all I got was a poxy 1600 odd quid. Get real sonny jim

  4. Andrew DaltonApril 24, 2020

    I do not know how this ended. I need to be a bit careful what I say. I hope this young fellow started listening to his solicitor rather than his mum. I did insist on him talking to me without his mum, but there was no way I was taking this case on. His current solicitors had done a perfectly good job, the only mild criticism I would make of them is that they did not put this lad’s mum back in her box a lot more swiftly but I suspect she was close to impossible. Fighting her boy’s corner, fair enough but he was not a kid.

  5. Carl JonesMay 11, 2020

    A bit old to comment.
    I read your posts when I can, as the advice is priceless.
    Thanks again for an insight into the murky world of litigation, – hope I wont need to go there, but if I do, I know where to get the best legal advice possible. It may cost more than a few beers but better than a few years.

  6. Dangle McFlannelMay 22, 2020

    It was a while ago, but I had to change solicitors because I was being urged to settle for a derisory sum. In the end the solicitor I went with managed to wrangle out another 20K more than the first one was able to.
    That was for bust collar bone and left arm.
    In the light of that, 40K for a broken ankle seems rather good, even these days.
    That 20K bought me an old building in the sticks that I’ve been doing up over the years, so it was worth changing firms for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Fast Bikes Magazine

Fast Bikes Magazine Magazine Cover Image

"The Fast Bikes Legal Clinic is compiled by Andrew Dalton, and his bike riding barristers and solicitors at White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors.

They deal with personal injury claims and their sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deals with all the motoring offences. They know everything about bike law, Andrew is a former London motorbike courier turned barrister and solicitor, and we know he's good.

All the White Dalton lawyers are qualified barristers, or solicitors, or both - and they all have full bike licences, too. They don't act for insurance companies or the prosecution.

They are Britain's most specialist law practice, and if they don't know the answer to your question, there probably isn't one. Don't rely on the advice from your insurance appointed solicitor, get proper independent advice."

More Fast Bikes Articles

Visit the Fast Bikes Magazine website

More Andrew Dalton Posts: