I wonder how many?

I had to feel sorry for a chap who called me a few days ago.

He was on his motorcycle when he was forced to take avoiding action because of a careless driver.

As a result of taking avoiding action he was unable to avoid hitting a pothole which in turn threw him off his bike and a 4x4 travelling in the opposite direction ran over him.

As a result, the rider sustained multiple life changing injuries including 120+ fractures to his head, a fractured eye socket, multiple fractures to ribs, arms, legs, nerve damage, sliced liver, punctured lungs (with many other injuries resulting in 4 weeks in intensive care) and which has now left him unable to work for the rest of his days.

His insurance campany and a law firm told him that he had no claim because of the circumstances even though they did not investigate or obtain full details.

As a result he let it go and did nothing further as he believed his insurance company and the law firm he spoke to knew what they were talking about.

By chance someone suggested that he had a chat with me to see if I might be able to help or give him some advice.

We had a long conversation and it was quickly obvious he had a very valid claim.

Trouble is, this crash happened 4 years ago and so statute of limitation kicked in.

He cannot plead incapacity because despite no memory and ongoing brain injury he is able to make his own decsions and so to my regret I was unable to help him.

But it got me wondering how many others (especially motorcyclists) have suffered life changing injuries through no fault of their own and been told they have no claim, do nothing further about it and then find later that they do in fact have a valid claim but by that time it is too late to do anything?

We regularly hear of the false and fictitious claims, but I bet there are just as many genuine claims that get passed by, bearing in mind that as a country we are not a litigious state. We are actually ranked about 40th

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Honestly that properly sucks for that guy! shame he cannot claim against the law firm for incorrect/poor advice!

The problem is with a lot of this, is most people I have met actually have no idea they can go elsewhere for legal help.

@The_Sleeper If he could remember the firm who advised him then there would probably be a case for professional negligence as it is still within limitation (6 years) but then the problem is proving it because no file was opened, and the chap because of his injuries cannot recall if it was a panel firm or an independent firm.

It is like all legal cases though, it requires evidence, and whilst there is no doubt that the chap is telling the truth, if you did know the name of the firm, they would simply deny everything, especially 4 years down the line as this case now is.

The other problem we have (and it is prevelant in many forums) is the number of bar room lawyers who offer advice, not based on any real knowledge, training or experience, but often based on what a mate said down the pub which is dangerous in itself.

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Oh my god… That sounds horrible. Wouldn’t wish anything like that upon your worst enemy.

How is he now? Has he recovered at least partially? Can he walk, talk, see, feel?

Hmm, it’s almost as if insurance companies are in the business of fobbing you off and keeping your money wherever possible.

@me_groovy Could have told you that a long time ago :wink:

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“It is like all legal cases though, it requires evidence, and whilst there is no doubt that the chap is telling the truth, if you did know the name of the firm, they would simply deny everything, especially 4 years down the line as this case now is.”

This is why I do everything by email these days, even if it’s a “thanks for the advice on the call” type email. I try to keep a record of every single thing that relates to finances / legal / insurance etc in my life. I dread to think how large my email saved items inbox is these days.

Speaking as someone who works for the Financial Ombudsman Service, this is one of the best pieces of advice that’s been posted on here.

Email provides a solid audit trail. Unlike “I called them in around September and spoke to someone at the broker who said fitting a turbo wouldn’t increase my premium & I didn’t need to declare it…”

@Pat For those of us who work in legal, I agree and we have told members of this form (and probably many others) the importance of getting things in writing and having evidence.

The trouble is, that its a bit like banging on about lane discipline on a Motorway (just an example) those that need to have the message drummed into them are the ones that do not read or choose to ignore the information or good advice that is out there.

And that equally applies to those who have never had any need to deal with the legal or insurance professions before.

As the saying goes, “Everone’s an expert!”

And when you write an email it is worth remembering the advice my line manager gave me when I sat down to write my very first letter on behalf of the company we were working for: ‘as you write, say the words in your head as they will sound when read out in court by the other side’s barrister. Because that will happen one day’.

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That’s absolutely shocking and very sad.
Could happen to any of us.
You always need more than one opinion though.