Solicitor… Accident Claims Advice

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Tim DH
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Location: Scott Hall....... LEEDS

Solicitor… Accident Claims Advice

Postby Tim DH » 25 Jan 2014, 5:42pm

Apologies for this being a LONG post… but it covers an eight month period.. Basically I would recommend Andrew Gray of Truth Legal (in Harrogate) for dealing with awkward compensation claims. Feel free to skip the detail below. Tim DH

At about 7.30am on Friday April 26th I woke up in the middle of Roundhay Road (A four lane radial in Leeds). My first memory is only visual. I tried to raise my body from the tarmac, discovered that I was still on my bike and decided that I’d rather lie down again. I was surprised to be facing back the way I’d come from.

My next memory is purely audio. It’s of female voices saying ‘’Oooooo… I don’t think we should move him’’.

My third memory is of suddenly being half a traffic lane from the kerb, walking towards it. I don’t know how I got off the bike and upright. I don’t know what was happening to the rest of the traffic. These women were talking to me, or rather at me, asking me what I wanted to do. I said I just want to sit down for a bit, so I sat on the kerb. At some point I realised that one of the women was the driver of the car that had hit me and the other two her passengers. They kept asking me questions and I said that I just wanted to lie down for a bit, so they ran me back home. There was a hitch, as we couldn’t find my bike lock, to attach it to the railings. The lock had been flung right to the other side of the road.

On the way home the driver apologised for hitting me.. (She commented on my dayglo orange sleeved jacket, with reflective strips.) She offered to pay for the damage to the bike and gave me her mobile number. At this point I was still thinking I’d just be getting to work a bit late.

After an hour of lying down, my left ankle, particularly, was giving me some pain. I phoned NHS direct.. Who seemed more concerned that I couldn’t tell them what had happened. So I went to casualty. The xray indicated merely severe bruising.

The driver phoned me a couple of times that day to check I was OK. Over the next few days I experienced massive mood swings, alternating between being extremely elated at simply being alive and being very flat. I was useless in either state!!

On the Saturday I asked the driver if she had reported the accident. She said she didn’t want it to go through her insurance, and that she’d just pay me. I said I had no objection to that, but felt it ought to be recorded as an accident. As time went on I became increasingly uncomfortable with her reluctance to report the accident. I didn’t want to report it because I thought that might get her into trouble. On the other hand, for all I knew she might be trying to hide something. However I didn’t want to say that I was starting to have doubts about her. On Monday, when she evaded the question again I told her I wanted the incident log number for putting on my absence return at work. She then volunteered to phone my work & verify my story!!! I declined this offer and she said she’d get back to me.

On the Tuesday, when I spoke to the driver, she said she was working away, and would deal with it when she got back to Leeds. I repeated that I wanted an incident log number for the absence return, so I felt I would have to now report it. She agreed to me doing that, and asked me to give her the number so that she could follow it up when she got back.

I phoned the police (101) and gave a statement. They phoned me back, and asked me to attend a police station. The officer on the desk asked for a few extra details. But all I had was the driver’s first name and mobile phone number! She said that since there was no serious injury it was just a paper exercise. She would phone the driver and ask her to attend a police station to complete the paperwork.

When I was discussing the remains of my bike (companion for almost 25years) with the bike shop mechanic, I apologised for not thinking too clearly. He nodded at the poor machine and said ’’Your lucky to be thinking at all!’’ The frame was snapped in two places and irreparable. A few days later a policeman visited me. He also seemed shocked by the state of the bike, and was surprised that I only had the drivers first name & mobile number, so he gave me the rest of her details. He asked me if I wanted the police to take the matter further. At that point my position was that the driver had apologised and offered to pay for the bike, so, so long as she didn’t have a history of running people over, I was happy to let the matter lie. The policeman said he would check the drivers history and get back to me if there was a problem.

Shortly after this, the driver stopped answering my calls, and didn’t return them either. She had apparently changed her mind about paying for the bike! I am a member of the Cycle Touring Club, and on the back of the membership card is an ‘’accident claims advice’’ phone number. It turns out to be a ‘’personal injuries claim’’ line. They seemed uninterested in my bike, and I sensed that they were trying to get me to talk up the injuries I had received. In the end they declined to represent me because my case was too small to be worth their while. I felt more than a little let down by this.

I tried a couple of other avenues to get redress, but none of them looked very hopeful. I thought I’d reached the end of the road. Then a friend advised me to speak to Andrew Gray at a company in Harrogate called ‘Truth Legal’. I was quite straight with Andrew, that I had little memory of what had happened, no witnesses and no interest in ‘talking up’ my injuries. Despite this Andrew indicated that he was prepared to act on my behalf on a ’no win no fee’ basis.

I think Andrew was very patient with me, I sometimes struggle to answer questions… for instance: How do you put a value on an old bike? When new, it was a ’state of the art’ touring bike, but the makers (Cannondale) no longer build tourers. The nearest thing they currently make are cyclocross bikes, ranging from £799.99 to £2299.99. So depending on how you look at it, my old bike was either irreplaceable, or (after 25years) scrap metal. Similarly I struggled to answer the various medical questions.

About ten weeks after the accident Andrew advised me that the insurers for the driver had denied liability. They said that I acted negligently and that they would be providing witness evidence to prove it. Andrew didn’t seem worried about this so I decided I shouldn’t be either. Tho’ it was, as he noted, disappointing.

Three weeks later, Andrew told me that the insurers had now admitted liability. It took them another 4 months to ‘cough up’, but Andrew warned me from the start that it would be a long process. I do feel a bit funny about the money. Had the driver been straight with me and made an offer, I think I would have accepted anything over £300. My share of the final settlement is more than eight times that.

I also feel a bit funny about being pleased that the driver didn’t get away with it. But I am!! (I understand her insurers are now pursuing her for costs.)
Last edited by Graham on 24 Feb 2015, 10:42am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited additional spacing to make more easily readable. ( PS. A worthwhile read. )

JohnW
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Location: Yorkshire

Re: Solicitor… Accident Claims Advice

Postby JohnW » 10 Feb 2014, 4:47pm

Tim DH wrote:...............I also feel a bit funny about being pleased that the driver didn’t get away with it............


Don't be.........didn't she try to kill you?.............never be sorry for them - she'd no sympathy for you before the event, despite what she may say after it...........

I'm glad you've had such good professional service, and I don't say anything against your obviously competent "legal eagle", but is there a reason why you did not go through the CTC legal department?

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gaz
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Re: Solicitor… Accident Claims Advice

Postby gaz » 13 Feb 2014, 4:15pm

Tim DH wrote:... I am a member of the Cycle Touring Club, and on the back of the membership card is an ‘’accident claims advice’’ phone number. It turns out to be a ‘’personal injuries claim’’ line. They seemed uninterested in my bike, and I sensed that they were trying to get me to talk up the injuries I had received. In the end they declined to represent me because my case was too small to be worth their while. I felt more than a little let down by this. ...
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

JohnW
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Location: Yorkshire

Re: Solicitor… Accident Claims Advice

Postby JohnW » 13 Feb 2014, 7:24pm

gaz wrote:
Tim DH wrote:... I am a member of the Cycle Touring Club, and on the back of the membership card is an ‘’accident claims advice’’ phone number. It turns out to be a ‘’personal injuries claim’’ line. They seemed uninterested in my bike, and I sensed that they were trying to get me to talk up the injuries I had received. In the end they declined to represent me because my case was too small to be worth their while. I felt more than a little let down by this. ...


Do you know Garry, I thought I'd read Tim's post thoroughly - but clearly I hadn't. :oops: :oops: and even more :oops: and that has led me to show my stupidity.

However, this exposes a serious and fundamental problem with the CTC. I have had several claims handled through the CTC, but all before the 'big changeover'. My claims were either dealt with by the CTC's in-house legal-eagles or by a private firm of solicitors commissioned by CTC, and in every case with satisfaction at every stage in the proceedings and with satisfactory results. Don't be discouraged about a seemingly long timescale - these things do take time. My most recent claim - must be over ten years ago now - took nearly 3 years to complete. My recovery time from injury was a major element in that.

This is clearly an accolade for "Truth Legal" and Andrew Gray and worth our while to make a note of the name. This does really highlight a problem with CTC, because it has been said before that if a CTC member not connected with a riding group is asked why they remain a member of CTC, they invariably quote the legal support and third party insurance.

Tim - have you contacted one of your CTC councillors about this? - this is not good publicity for CTC. If any councillor reads this - all of it, not missing an important phrase as I did..............have you anything to say?

I apologise Tim, for omitting to register that part of your post.

I don't change my mind about not feeling sorry for your assailant, however.

Does anyone know how British Cycling handle these matters?

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gaz
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Re: Solicitor… Accident Claims Advice

Postby gaz » 13 Feb 2014, 10:17pm

JohnW wrote:Do you know Garry, I thought I'd read Tim's post thoroughly - but clearly I hadn't. :oops: :oops: and even more :oops: and that has led me to show my stupidity.

John, you are being far too hard on yourself.

JohnW wrote:I apologise Tim, for omitting to register that part of your post.

Which illustrates your impeccable manners.
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

JohnW
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Solicitor… Accident Claims Advice

Postby JohnW » 13 Feb 2014, 10:24pm

gaz wrote:
JohnW wrote:Do you know Garry, I thought I'd read Tim's post thoroughly - but clearly I hadn't. :oops: :oops: and even more :oops: and that has led me to show my stupidity.

John, you are being far too hard on yourself.

JohnW wrote:I apologise Tim, for omitting to register that part of your post.

Which illustrates your impeccable manners.


That's kind of you Garry. Thank you.