The main reason that we need to keep on fighting for justice is that there are still insurers who will seek to undermine the rights of victims.
Almost two years ago I wrote about the scandalous case of Janet being handled by EAD –
She was crossing the road when she was struck at speed by a 4 x 4. She suffered terrible injuries. Liability was aggressively contested. There was an offer to settle at £125k which was time limited to pressurise the family to accept. Rehabilitation funding was unilaterally withdrawn when it became apparent that the cost would exceed £50k. At every stage there was pressure on her family to accept a settlement that was considerably short of the mark.
My last blog reported that the case had gone to trial on liability and she had succeeded 100%.
At a joint meeting yesterday she accepted £2.5m in settlement of the claim. So the final award was 20 times the original offer.
This was achieved due to a combination of robust legal advice and a family who were committed to seek justice for her.
This is clearly an unusual case. But it again demonstrates the need for victims to have professional and experienced advice. There are relentless claims from the insurance industry and media that lawyers are not needed in these cases. They talk about the mythical ‘Compensation Culture’ so much that people eventually come to believe it. You could well believe that lawyers and victims have created this culture. As if Janet deliberately allowed herself to be run down by an impatient driver. The involvement of lawyers is said to be unnecessary and adds to the cost of insurance –
If this family had been deprived of advice she would have been massively undercompensated and the insurers would have been laughing their way to the bank. And drivers would certainly not have reaped the benefit!
To some people this might seem a high award of damages. But most of it will go towards Janet’s care for the rest of her life. About £150k is to compensate her for the injury itself. Compare that to the £260k awarded to Sadie Frost for breach of her privacy. That is not to say Ms Frost is not entitled to be properly compensated for the Mirror’s disgraceful actions.
But it should help us to put into perspective the plight of victims of accidents in the face of a hostile media.