Further success for Mark Hambling and the Personal Injury team

9th Dec 2020

Mark Hambling, Director in the Personal Injury Department has not let the difficulties of lockdown and the 2020 Covid pandemic prevent him from achieving excellent results for his clients. He has recently concluded a run of High Court case of which the success below was the second in sequence of excellent results.

I was instructed to act for a mother and two children who sustained very significant injuries in a road traffic accident. The case was complicated by the fact that the mother and her two children were passengers in a vehicle being driven by the husband and father, when it was involved in a head-on collision before hitting a third car, causing all occupants to sustain serious injuries, and in the case of the mother significant life changing consequences.

The case was complicated by the insurers of the two vehicles colliding head on not being accepting liability or in the case of my clients claims, agreeing to deal with the claims and share the liability between them. As such, in the absence of independent witnesses to the actual impact the matter was ultimately to be determined on the basis of drivers evidence and more likely than not expensive forensic evidence to be obtained by both insurers. What was clear was that my clients were the innocent passengers in the accident, could not in any way be responsible for the accident and therefore they would recover against one or a combination of both of the insurers of the two vehicles colliding head on. Notwithstanding what was always the likely outcome I had to work hard in the initial stages of the case to convince each insurer to cooperate under the rehabilitation protocol and to fund early treatment in respect of the injuries sustained, to achieve the best possible outcome from the significant injuries and save costs. What I had hoped was an obvious benefit to either insurer of early treatment to reduce the clients suffering and save costs, was complicated by the feuding insurers who were focussed on their liability position and could not see the benefit of early treatment, sharing the costs and apportioning those costs between them once the issue of liability between the insurers was resolved. As a result it was inevitable given the issues, the insurers stance and the value of the case that High Court proceedings were required in respect of all claims, to secure interim payments and to fund much needed treatment and assistance.

My advice to my clients was to adopt a robust line on the value of the claim and to stand by the strong evidence on the injuries and financial losses obtained, despite the insurers trying their best to challenge the evidence, even by serving video surveillance which did no more than show the most seriously injured client doing her best to function and doing no more than the evidence accepted the client could do. Indeed this evidence ultimately supported the Claimants oral evidence on the effects of the injuries. Following settlement meetings and adopting a robust line in the face of insufficient offers that were made, by continuing to progress the case towards a final hearing, one insurer accepted liability and suitable settlement offers agreed before a trial on the liability issues was due to start.

The claim settled at very substantial figures in respect of all three Claimants shortly before the liability trial and has provided each Claimant with sums to reflect their injuries and secure their future treatment and earnings needs.

I was delighted to be able to resolve this case at settlement sums which will ensure each Claimant has received full compensation, and in the case of the most seriously injured, places them in a position to continue to fund their treatment and be compensated in respect of loss of income for the rest of their career. The case was progressed through lockdown and required many of the normal procedures to be varied to ensure the case continued and was not delayed by the Covid pandemic. For example, medical evidence was obtained by video links, meeting with barristers by MS Teams and court case management hearings undertaken remotely. The last 8 to 9 months has seen lawyers have to adapt and it is to the credit of the profession that we have all found ways to keep cases progressing and ensure we continue to achieve notable successes for such deserving clients, ensuring their case is not prejudiced by the pandemic..

In this case, by ensuring full evaluation of the injuries at an early stage a case plan could be put in place to obtain a full suite of medical evidence,making it difficult for the Defendants to cloud the evidence on both the cause of the injuries and the value of the claim. By obtaining the appropriate medical evidence a strong Part 36 offer to settle was made, allowing the negotiations to provide the Claimants with full compensation.

Following the settlement, my client sent me the most delightful thank you indicating “We just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your hard work on our cases and the excellent end result you achieved for us”

Mark Hambling is a Director of the company’s Personal Injury Department, a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and a specialist at handling high value and complicated personal injury claims. Mark will consider cases on a No Win No Fee Agreement and is happy to offer an initial discussion as regards any claim without obligation and cost. Mark can be contacted on mbh@rogers-norton.co.uk and by telephone on 01603 666001.