Sally (name has been changed), a multi media producer in her late 30’s, was cycling from her job in Old St to her flat in Streatham in February 2012. She was travelling south on Cycle Superhighway 7. Just south of Southwark Bridge, a HGV failed to allow enough room to overtake her, and she was dragged under the lorry, suffering horrific scarring injuries to her lower legs.
As part of our investigations,we visited the scene of the accident and took photos after meeting with Sally in hospital.
She was several weeks in St Thomas’, requiring skin graft operations from the plastics team and extra care from her husband and young children when she was discharged to the family home, a flat on two levels.
She was made redundant a few weeks post accident (not related to the accident) and then, amazingly, obtained a better paid job shortly after she left hospital and still under regular appointments to change dressings and with severely impaired mobility.
To Sally’s understandable distress, the police decided not to prosecute the lorry driver since there were no independent witnesses. This then gave the insurers added confidence to maintain their denial of liability, they continued to allege that Sally lost control of her bike, wobbled and went under the wheels and the accident was all her fault.
Expert evidence obtained in orthopaedics, plastics, care and psychiatry. Defendants obtained their own evidence in each of these disciplines.
The insurers made a part 36 offer (carrying costs consequences for late acceptance or if the judge awards less at trial) of £50,000. Rejected on our advice.
We issued High Court proceedings and the insurers eventually admitted liability after exchange of witness evidence. They made a further part 36 offer of £100,00. Rejected on our advice.
Then, they obtained surveillance footage of Sally – although this proved of little benefit to them since it showed her walking with a stick which she needed over a year post accident – travelling to work and doing everything she told the experts she could do. Footage was sent to each of the experts but had very little impact.
The matter proceeded to a joint settlement meeting (JSM) and settled at the end of a long day at £150,000. The insurers paid all of Sally’s legal costs.
"I was so glad to have Kevin along the journey, which was stressful – you don’t expect yourself to suddenly be dealing with the legal system,and I always felt reassured after conversations and updates that I was in safe hands.
Kevin really knew what he was doing and was supportive right from the first visit to my hospital bed. In fact, I think he was angrier than I was that I was videoed at one point. It’s good to have someone confident on your side, I’m not going to pretend it’s not a difficult journey."