James McCormick was involved in a motorcycling incident on the 18th August 2016. He was riding his own motorcycle home with his son, Adam, as a pillion passenger, after visiting a motorcycle dealer.
James caught up with a line of 4 or 5 vehicles which were slowing in front of him. The first vehicle turned into a side road to his right-hand side which led to the Lochside House Hotel. The remaining vehicles continued to move forward, and as it was a straight road, James prepared to overtake the slower moving traffic.
After checking his mirrors, signalling and completing his lifesaver, he pulled out for the overtake. Suddenly, one of the vehicles in the line of traffic turned right across his path, without signalling or slowing. He had no opportunity to take any evasive action and, as a result of the collision, he and his son were catapulted from the motorcycle. James suffered a fracture injury to his back.
James was referred to a panel solicitor through his own insurance company. Without meeting James or even contacting witnesses, they suggested he accept an offer to settle his claim on a 50/50 basis, without a fight. No Police report was obtained and no attempt was made to meet with the reporting Police Officer. It transpired that both James and the driver who caused the incident were both insured with the same insurance company.
James sacks panel solicitor and contacts Motorcycle Law Scotland...
Furious that he should accept such advice and never having met his appointed solicitor, James approached Motorcycle Law Scotland for help. As a starting point, Brenda Mitchell travelled to see James at home as he was concerned that he couldn’t take any more time off work. After taking a detailed statement from James, we did what should have been done at the outset. The offer to split the case on a 50/50 basis with rider and driver accepting equal responsibility for the collision was immediately refused. We obtained a Police report listing the independent witnesses who were then all contacted as well as the reporting officer. Site visits were undertaken at the locus. The investigations revealed what James had said all along; he was there to be seen executing a safe overtake.
The final settlement offer...
Although James returned to work, his back pain continued. Specialist medical experts were instructed and within 6 months of receiving his file, proceedings were raised in Court. Defences were received with a formal offer to settle. That offer was promptly refused. Further offers were made in settlement and counter proposals put forward until eventually an offer of almost four times the original offer was put forward. Settlement could finally be agreed at just under full value.
The key difference...
The difference we made was quite simple. When we first met James, he was an injured motorcyclist through no fault of his own. He had been told to accept 50% of the blame by a panel solicitor he had never met. He was confused and unhappy. We turned that around by treating James as an individual, not a file number. He had his own quite specific injuries. His case was unique and like no other. That attitude to all of our cases means we can make the difference.
James was absolutely delighted with the outcome.