Mr S.E. was involved in a road accident in the early morning while he was on his way to work. A taxi was waiting in the central reservation at a right angle to Mr S.E's vehicle. The taxi miscalculated the manoeuvre and pulled out into Mr S.E, causing an accident and injury.
Mr S.E suffered from a soft tissue injury to the chest which was anticipated to resolve in 6 months and a cut to the head which took 1 week to heal. He also suffered from anxiety for 1 day following the accident.
The Defendant taxi driver disputed liability and made a counter claim against Mr S.E. The taxi driver alleged that he was driving straight forward himself, in the same direction as Mr S.E. He also alleged that he had indicated to turn left into a petrol station and that Mr S.E undertook him, crashing into his passenger side.
Initially, a witness – the passenger in the taxi – also held Mr S.E at fault for the accident.
How We Helped
Muttahar Halepota, Assistant Litigation Executive, took on the case for Mr S.E and issued proceedings against the Defendant.
The engineering evidence was potentially consistent with both versions of events. The damage to Mr S.E's vehicle was offside, with offside front corner damage. The damage on the taxi was on the nearside corner.
However, the accident location had petrol stations on both sides and there was no room to undertake a vehicle turning left into that petrol station without mounting a grass verge. It would have been much easier to overtake a slow moving vehicle. Muttahar did not consider the Defendant's version likely, especially as there was photographic evidence to show that the Defendant's car had moved all the way across to the other petrol station that was on the right hand side of the road. This impact would not have happened had the Defendant's version been correct.
The Defendant's passenger failed to co-operate and the Defendant's solicitors offered to settle liability on a 50:50 basis. Muttahar advised Mr S.E to reject this offer as his version of how the accident occurred was far more credible. The Defendant's solicitors then offered to settle the claim 70:30 in Mr S.E's favour; he rejected this offer as well.
Two working days before the trial, the Defendant's solicitors made an offer to settle Mr S.E's claim for £2,944. This was an excellent offer, especially as Mr S.E had recovered from his chest injury in 4 months rather than the 6 months that had originally been anticipated. The offer also covered the Claimant's £350 excess, £135 loss of bonus at work, care and assistance and loss of use claims. Mr S.E accepted this offer and was very thankful for our services.
The Defendant subsequently filed a Notice of Discontinuance for his counter claim.
This case demonstrated the value in knowing the layout of the accident location. Without this it would have been difficult to establish confidently that the Defendant's version was not credible. We also demonstrated that our advice is based primarily on the merits of a case rather than a view to achieve a quick settlement.
The fact that there were two different versions of events with no independent witnesses supporting either did not necessarily mean that both versions were equally credible.
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