I recently represented Mrs Needham a 78 year old client who unfortunately suffered a fall on a bus after the bus was forced to brake sharply as a result of an untraced driver who pulled out of a side street into the path of the bus. After making investigations with the bus company into the identity of the driver at fault to ensure that there was no way to trace him/her, I submitted my client’s claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) for consideration under the Untraced Drivers Agreement.
The MIB agreed to deal with my client’s claim and medical evidence was obtained which confirmed that my client had suffered from an acceleration injury, bringing forward degenerative changes which were likely to trouble her later in life. I valued the injury in the region of £6,000 – £7,000 but the maximum award that the MIB were willing to make was £4,150. I had numerous discussions with the MIB in an attempt to negotiate an increased settlement for my client who was elderly and keen to settle the claim as quickly as possible, but to no avail.
I therefore advised my client to appeal, meaning that the decision was assessed by an Arbitrator (usually a QC). I was very pleased to note that the Arbitrator agreed with my valuation and awarded my client £6,000 in damages for her injury. My client was delighted with the decision and so was I.
The decision highlighted to me the importance of instructing a legal representative to assist in claims against the MIB, since without my advice my client might not have known the true value of her claim and therefore simply taken the offer which was made initially, resulting in a drastic under settlement of her claim.