- A car and a motorcycle collided, close to a junction.
- The claimant (the motorcyclist) was left with life-altering injuries.
- Crawford Legal Services (CLS) was instructed to defend the claim (i.e., we acted for the insurer who had insured the driver of the car).
- We were instructed in relation to quantum and liability.
The policyholder approached a give-way sign leading onto the main road that was two lanes wide. The speed limit on this road was 30mph.
He stated he had come to a stop at the junction and, upon considering that his path was clear, he exited the junction onto the main road.
Moments after exiting the junction, the claimant, who was a motorcyclist (riding a high-powered motorcycle), collided with the rear driver’s side of the policyholder’s vehicle.
With the motorcyclist suffering life-changing injuries and being unable to return to his non-sedentary and well-paid job, the schedule of loss exceeded £2.4 million.
While primary liability would ultimately have to be conceded, a careful investigation by CLS followed. It became clear that this was not a simple case of the driver of the car not seeing the motorcyclist, as may be assumed in light of the accident circumstances.
Upon review of all the available evidence, and the instruction of an accident reconstruction expert, it was quickly apparent that there was a significant element of contributory negligence on the part of the motorcyclist due to the speed he was travelling at.
Following careful and methodical enquiries, CLS was able to secure a 50/50 liability settlement. This equated to a £1.2 million saving on the schedule alone.
However, following forensic review of the medical evidence and disclosure provided by the claimant (the motorcyclist), we were ultimately able to secure a further significant reduction in relation to quantum and in particular seeking to dispute the future loss of earnings, pension and care claims. This was not a case of the claimant seeking to fraudulently recover damages, but there was a dispute about what the claimant’s residual earning capacity was and what future care he reasonably required.
Our robust and forensic approach to this claim resulted in an overall saving of £1.8 million for our client.
The case highlights two important points. Firstly, at the outset of the claim, the severity of the injuries to the motorcyclist was not clear and it was important that liability was not admitted to avoid unnecessary and often difficult applications to resile. Secondly, even a genuine claimant’s schedule of loss can be robustly challenged resulting in significant savings for insurer clients.
For more information please contact:
Solicitor, Crawford Legal Services, UK