Compensation claim

I know there are quite a few people that have had accidents on the road and made compensation claims. I have recently settled a claim after 5 years. One thing my solicitor said has kind of struck a note with me during the claim though. She told me that in her experience (not just in cycle injury claims) 9 out of 10 people were probably not happy with the compensation they were eventually paid. Is it just a case that people are greedy, or is the system geared against the injured party?
Part of the insurer's tactics in my case were to try to discredit me as a witness, making me out to be a liar and it seems it is easier to make a general claim, that as you are fine riding a bike there is in fact nothing wrong with you.
Statements by specialists basically back up whoever is paying them, so how can a judge decide who is telling the truth? My solicitor basically said that without medical proof, it is difficult to prove a case, so the injured party may not get the compensation they deserve.
I know a few people who have settled early in a case just because they want the whole ordeal to be over, or are suffering financial hardship as the case drags on for years.
What are your thoughts and experiences?
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
People can get shafted by the tough attitude of the insurers in such cases, but don't lay all the blame at their door. It is the numerous people who make fraudulent claims (And I have known a few of them) who are a major part of the problem. Insurers have been stung so many times it is understandable they take a tough attitude in their investigations, and as always it is the genuine people who suffer because of the actions of a few.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Statements by specialists basically back up whoever is paying them, so how can a judge decide who is telling the truth?
'Rent an expert' is certainly a consideration.

Nothing - apart from possibly resources - to stop the claimant briefing his/her own expert.

Both reports are then presented to the judge.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
She told me that in her experience (not just in cycle injury claims) 9 out of 10 people were probably not happy with the compensation they were eventually paid. Is it just a case that people are greedy, or is the system geared against the injured party?
Having seen the process from the other side of the table, there is a standard amount of compensation for each kind of injury, and most people, once it's established that they're due compensation, get something similar to that. The overwhelming majority of claims fall into a relatively few, simple categories and can be paid very straightforwardly - which personal injuries lawyers really don't like, because it puts them out of work.

If 9 out of 10 people really are unhappy with the compensation they receive then it's because the people advising them are inflating their expectations as to what they might get. And, contrary to what you might have been led to believe, the overwhelming majority of settlements get nowhere near a court or a judge.

A typical injury is settled for a few thousand pounds. It's in no-one's interests, apart from those who are paid by the hour by third parties, to string processes out for longer than they need to.

Of course, none of this may be relevant to your particular claim.
 

alicat

Legendary Member
Location
Staffs
I suspect your solicitor was managing your expectations @Pumpkin the robot. @srw is right. There are established precedents, a scale if you like, for injuries and limited scope to go off the scale.

I was unhappy with the compensation I received because I never wanted to be harmed in the first place and almost no amount of money would have rectified that. I expect that the driver's insurers were equally unhappy because they would rather not have paid anything out.

It's a good compromise when both parties are unhappy to the same extent and/or can see that the settlement could have been a lot worse.
 
OP
Pumpkin the robot
I settled for a 6 figure sum, after the accident it was the sort of figure I had in mind that I finally received. I probably got the top end of the money for the injuries I suffered in the accident, so I am not unhappy with the result. But the thing y solicitor said just stuck in my mind.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
You know my view. You do get worn out. I was just glad to settle. I'd had enough of looking over my shoulder all the time. Could have got more, but wasn't wanting the mental strain any longer.

One good thing is I have no mortgage or debts after this, but no money for a flash bike. I don't need a flash bike. Time now to save for nice things for me and the family, and time to do stuff that I'd not been able to unless it caused issues with my claim.

Hence the MTB weekend we are organising.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
If You fight to get well (ish) again you are screwed.

They said I was back at work and cycling again. But Im in pain constantly.

Fortunately my GP came good and I've had CBT, extra physio, and now counselling.

The lack of any punishment for the driver has really eaten me up. I'm learning to let go.
 

Slick

Guru
If You fight to get well (ish) again you are screwed.

They said I was back at work and cycling again. But Im in pain constantly.

Fortunately my GP came good and I've had CBT, extra physio, and now counselling.

The lack of any punishment for the driver has really eaten me up. I'm learning to let go.
Not for me to comment on your particular situation, but I have seen people close to me get eaten up by anger and resentment for some time now and no sign of letting go. I would imagine that whilst it's probably the hardest thing some people have to do, it's the thing that would bring the greatest health benefit.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
An alternative I tried...and won. I aproached the company (a local bus company) directly and suggested a fair recompense for their driver damaging my bike in a silly loss of temper by him (theres a bit more to it than that but I wasnt injured) . He was charged with using a vehicle as a weapon( I think that was the terminology) i suggested a cost I'd be happy with and no need to involve the claim chasers....once the driver admitted liability on court, they paid up quickly.
I think the payout was £1000 or thereabouts. I was more than happy with that.
 

pjd57

Veteran
Location
Glasgow
I was knocked off my bike last year by a driver coming through a give way line.

My injuries were painful.
Stitches to my elbow.
Large grazed area on my hip....sore for about 5 weeks.
Broken rib, again sore for around 5/6 weeks.

I used Cycle Law Scotland and was very happy with their service and pleased with the level of compensation I got.
 

classic33

Legendary Member
It was more that the drivers insurance had said "It's only a bicycle", amongst other stuff, and that they wanted to drag it out as long as possible that got me.

Why did it matter what type of vehicle, road legal, was in use by you at the time you were hit? Should it hurt less than if I'd ended up on the bonnet whilst in a car or on a motorbike, or even if I'd been walking.
 

Nebulous

Veteran
Location
Aberdeen
I was hit by a driver coming through a giveway sign. I rolled over his bonnet, broke two fingers, but almost immediately was delighted it wasn't worse. I work in care and when I realised both my neck and head were okay, whilst still sitting in the middle of the road it was a great sense of relief.

The issue I had was the drivers attitude. While still in the middle of the road I saw him rubbing the bonnet of his car, which was his primary concern.

My solicitor was Digby Brown, a no win no fee lawyer, but they were appointed on my behalf by British Cycling, who use them in Scotland. They were extremely professional. Medical reports, counselling all provided. I got a payment without it going to court, as the drivers insurance company insisted on settling, though he didn't want to.

I must be in the 10% as I was very pleased with the outcome.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
I had a big compensation claim a few years back and would have loved to get a million pounds. But that is the greed that lurks in us all somewhere.

In reality, I left it to the solicitor dealing with the claim. Thats his job and thats what he deals with day after day.

After 2 years a second offer was put on the table, which he thought to be appropriate. I could have held out for a little bit more, but he warned the claim could hang out for years. I took the offer and am satisfied with it.

It make sense to let the solicitor to deal with it IMO.
 

Bazzer

Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
It might also be that the compensation doesn't actually reflect the changes to peoples' lives.
I was lucky in that when I was hit on my bike, I think the final compensation was reasonable in the circumstances. But I was very grateful to have a strong supportive solicitor.
My wife on the other hand has suffered two car accidents, both of which resulted in serious injuries and compensation claims. The effects of the second in particular, still affect her sixteen years later. The driver's insurers in the second incident were quite frankly bastards, only agreeing to settle a couple of days before the court hearing.
As @fossyant said, if you fight to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible, it's held against you.

Edited to correct a couple of typos.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom