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3rd party insurance saying speed of impact couldnt cause injury to my mother?

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I was involved in an accident a few months ago. My mother was in the car with me. The driver reversed into the side of me reversing off a drive (rear end drivers side where my mother was sat) My mother suffered what the doctor said was 'tissue damage due to the accident'. She had a medical appointment booked, but its been cancelled for the time being as the 3rd party are now saying they dispute the injury was caused by the accident due to the low speed of the vehicles. It was slow, but was hard enough impact to cause over £1000 worth of damage to my car, which has now been fixed.

 

My mother is quite upset about all this and has signed to say her medical history needs to be accessed. She had to have 3 weeks off work (she stands all day in her employment) and is still in mild pain ie cant lie/sit/stand for a long period of time.

 

She does however suffer from arthitus (sp?) but hasnt suffered for a while due to being on medication for it. She says she knows the 'type' of pain the arthiritus gives her and this has been different ie shoulders which were never effected prior etc and constant back niggling since it happened.

 

Her concern is that the 3rd party wont pay out for time lost at work (only on ssp) and any damages ie her whilplash and backpain as she has a pre-existing condition.

 

Could anyone help me help to her to be a little more re-assured about the situation? I have been driving 10 years, her 30 and we have never been involved in an accident before so are quite in the dark. Her solicitor has said its a 'common issue brought up by 3rd party insurers' but thats not giving her much peace

 

Sorry for the essay, but thought would include all i could think of.

 

Thanks

Anna

Edited by confused??

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The other driver was at fault and she clearly has an injury claim. She cannot have been at fault as she was a passenger. If you want me to take this on for her I will happily do so.

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hi there,

Thanks i will pass the web page onto her later so she can read the comments

 

her main concern is that the 3rd parties insurers are basically saying she is lying about her injuries as they say 'the impact caused by the incident was at such low speed it did not cause much damage and would not have caused significant occupancy movement'

 

well. it caused over £1000 worth of damage regardless of how fast/slow the other driver was going.

 

As she does have a pre existing condition would this lessen/cancel any compensation she may be entitled to? she has had to give up things she usually does such as gardening and now has a gardener coming once a week to do her lawns etc, she is lots better, infact she could hardly walk the 10 days or so after accident but now just has trouble with her shoulders (which were never a problem before accident) and back (which did cause issues before but she says this pain is different to the 'burning pain' her artiritis gives her

 

just to add she has seen gp 3 times about this and he has said it isnt down to pre existing condition.

 

They want to see her medical records before she goes to be assessed. As we have never had a collission before we are very in the dark with all this

 

thanks

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The Defendants in this matter are claiming that the impact was a 'low velocity impact'. There is a wealth of claims that fall into this category and it is usual/normal for the Defendant to plead this if they believe that the impact was low speed.

 

This means that they are, in effect, alleging that no injury could have been caused due to the phsyics of the impact i.e. not enough force to cause your mothers body to move in such a way that injuries would be sustained.

 

It therefore falls onto your mother and her solicitors to prove that this is not the case. This is done by either having her examined by a medical expert, usually a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, who will confirm the extent of her injuries and confirm, in their opinion, whether the index accident was the cause of the ongoing symptoms and/or an expert engineer can be used to comment on the velocity/energy of the impact and the resulting forces on the body etc.

 

Regarding the access to the GP records, the experts will have to look at the records, but the Defendants claims handlers may not be allowed to view them before proceedings are issued. You can rely on the case of Wells-v-OCS Group in this regard.

 

However, the Defendants should be able to obtain their own such evidence and if this happens, the experts from both sides will join together to prepare a joint statement of issues and if both sides experts disagree then it will fall to the Court to decide on whose argument they prefer.

 

Her solicitors (if you have instructed any - and if not do so) should be able to advise.

 

If you haven't instructed solicitors you need to remember that if the Court finds for the Defendants then you will have to pay for their costs (possibly £10,000+). This is why you will need to have after the event insurance which a no win no fee solicitor will be able to arrange at no costs to your mum.

Edited by Endymion

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Hello there. I'm sorry to hear about your problems. You're getting good advice here.

 

I think it's spelled arthritis, afraid I don't know the answers to the other questions. Good luck and don't be intimidated.

 

HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Goodness, thanks for all that! As i thought - they are saying she is lying! I better not tell her this or she will be intimidated by it all, shes quite old school and will believe 'the insurers deal with this day in and day out so my injury must not be down to the car accident' which, we believe it is. I think i will tell her its all 'normal process' and see what she says, she was in tears this morning when she got this letter so if i tell the the above she will have a funny turn!

 

Could the medical professional could state it is due to the accident but she is more inclined to get injured due to pre existing conditions? if so what happens then?

 

Thanks all, such great info here. If anyone else has anything to ad (although short of 1st hand experience i doubt there is much!) it would be welcomed

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Could the medical professional could state it is due to the accident but she is more inclined to get injured due to pre existing conditions? if so what happens then?

 

-----

 

It is possible that the medical experts could say that she was more likely to get injured. This is called the 'Glass Skull' or 'Thin Skull' test. The test confirms that basically, just because someone has a propensity to become more injured than say a 'normal' person, they should not suffer unequal protection form the law.

 

Experts are duty bound to give evidence to the Court and therefore to be impartial. However, I will tell you now that there are medical experts who lean to giving evidence more favourable to a Claimant whereas there are some that will give more evidence that is favourable to the Defendant.

 

I am sorry to hear that your mother will not be happy that this is occurring, however, it is quite likely that if the Defendant is able to get evidence to suggest that no injury could have occurred then they will not be admitting any causation in this matter and it is likely to have to go to trial to settle and she may well lose. Probably will take a long time too and she will have to be examined at least twice by two seperate medical experts.

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Hi,

Just to add some info that might help.

I had an accident where someone hit me from behind at less than 20 miles/hr. Did about £700 damage. I had an underlying shoulder injury and the accident caused whiplash and exacerbation of shoulder injury.

Thru my insurance company i claimed for injury and was seen by medical experts. As a result i had physio paid for and recieved £3000 compensation.

Took 3 years in toatal to sort out, but thankfully have no lasting neck damage.

 

Points to note: Did your mum seek medical attention following accident

Time off work?

If so, then seek injury claim thru your insurance solicitors.

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Hi sorry for not replying sooner, internet been off..moving house!

 

Yes she did have time off work as she stands a lot with her job and couldnt stand or move without discomfort. She attened the GP surgery 3 days after it happened, again 2 weeks later, she sought advice about it again from GP whilst attending regarding another issue and has been back about 2 weeks ago as well.

 

She has decided to continue with the process thanks to the responses on here.

 

What about physio? The solicitors have offered physio but there is a disclaimeer in there basically saying if she doesnt win the claim she is liable pay the physio bill. Is she better paying herself (lots cheaper) and claiming those costs?

 

Thanks all for the advice, its been of great assistance

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Personally I would limit your liabilities in regards to costs until you had a definitive prognosis from your own expert. It may be the case that your mothers own expert might say the conditions experienced now are unrelated to the incident and that any injuries sustained due to the car accident would have resolved within 4 weeks, say. As such, if your mother obtains physio from the defendants insurers and then your med expert states that the phyio would have been for her underlying problems only, then you are going to have to pay them back.

 

To be honest I would like to know why the original medical appointment with your mothers expert was cancelled. I simply cannot understand why a solicitor would cancel an appointment on the basis of them pleading an LVI. You are going to need the medical evidence to a) prove your case and if so b) value the claim in any event. Makes no sense to cancel it. Get your mother examined by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon ASAP so you know where you stand.

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Re: the arthritis. If the car accident caused a re-occurrence of a previous medical condition that had up until the accident been cured, then YES you are entitled to compensation for the re-occurrence of the injury.

 

There is very clear case law on this: Page v Smith (1996). Your solicitor ought to be aware of this. In short, a driver who has caused an accident through his negligent driving IS liable for any re-occurrence of a previous medical condition suffered by the victim, if that re-occurrence was brought on by the collision. The other driver's unawareness of the condition is irrelevant - he should not have driven negligently, end of.

 

Obviously you have to disprove his allegation that you are lying. But if you accuse someone of fraud like he is doing then there is a very high burden placed on him. Your mother's age may also be a factor - if she is older, frailness etc. means it takes less of an impact to affect her health than it would to someone in their 20s or 30s. Not meaning to accuse your mother of being 'old' or 'frail', but it is one way to argue how a small impact may have caused more injury than the other driver realised.

 

Once you get past the stage of disproving his claim of her lies, you ought hopefully to get compensation for her arthritis.

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