Minster Law helped achieve a “splendid” settlement for a claimant who was a dedicated community volunteer, despite a lack of existing case law on his side.
Our 78-year old claimant was stationery on his motorcycle at a queue of traffic lights in Sheffield, when the defendant collided with the stationery vehicle behind him, forcing that car to collide with the rear of his bike. He was flung from the bike onto the bonnet of the car, before landing on the road.
He sustained fractures to his neck, which were treated conservatively with a collar for six weeks but was left with permanent neck pain and discomfort and the onset of age-related changes in his neck brought forward by 6 to 7 years.
He had also suffered fractures to six ribs on his right-hand side, bruising to his coccyx, a minor head injury which caused a loss of consciousness and brief amnesia following the accident, an adjustment disorder and extensive bruising over the rest of his body.
The claimant was a founding member of the Sheffield Blood Bikes (White Knights), which is a voluntary organisation of motorcycle couriers who deliver blood and tissue samples to hospitals throughout Sheffield and Yorkshire. As a result of his injuries he could no longer ride with the Sheffield Blood Bikes as he was unable to ride the heavier motorcycles and had to significantly reduce his involvement in the charitable work through his Rotary Club.
He gained personal satisfaction from his volunteer work as well as giving back significantly to his local community.
He also suffered loss of enjoyment of his 50th wedding anniversary celebration and a holiday booked to coincide with the event, both of which took place shortly after the accident. Although his role with the White Knights was voluntary the claimant treated this like a job, and the injury meant formally resigning.
Although there was no existing case law for assessing an award for the loss of enjoyment and benefit for voluntary work, it was clear the claimant gained significant personal benefit from his work and his involvement went beyond what would be expected of a hobby.
As such, Minster ensured he was awarded compensation for the voluntary work he was no longer able to do. Minster Law were involved in the claim for the outset. After court proceedings were issue the file was allocated to solicitor Eleanor Thompson.
The claimant said she “always rang back when she said she would and kept him informed of progress and any issues that came up. The bundle that she prepared for counsel must have helped him immensely as it appeared to be immaculately and accurately prepared, typical of everything that she did for me.”
Eleanor attempted to make reasonable settlement offers in the hopes of achieving settlement without the need for trial while still gaining him adequate compensation and providing protection should the case end up at trial.
When the third-party insurer failed to continue engaging in the negotiation process Minster Law pursued the case to trial, meaning the 78-year old had to attend court to argue over expenses incurred, which had all been fully documented.
We supported the client through the trial process and progressed the case as much as possible given the defendants conduct.
The judge at trial was so thoroughly unimpressed with the defendant insurer’s conduct it was reflected in his judgement and the client’s compensation awarded exceeded all of the client’s own reasonable attempts to settle.
The claimant said the compensations Eleanor helped him to achieve in court was “splendid”.
“I would also like to commend Shona, Eleanor’s assistant and Matthew, a trainee solicitor who accompanied her to court. They both have a fine example to follow.”