EVIDENCE FOR COMPENSATION CLAIMS

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIGHT EVIDENCE FOR COMPENSATION CLAIMS

This case example demonstrates how much a claim can change by obtaining the right evidence to support your case.

We have changed the name of the claimant to protect the confidentiality of the settlement.

Lauren was injured in a typical hit from behind car crash. She sustained whiplash injuries to her neck.

At the time of the injury she was working and studying at university. She was working in hospitality and studying music. Lauren loved playing guitar and singing. This was her passion.

A claim was lodged outside the time limitations. With our expert advice, we were able to extend the date citing a reasonable excuse for the delay. This was only the first hurdle. The Insurer had assessed the damages for the case to be minimal as the injury was “whiplash” and had not resulted in Lauren requiring time off work. This was not the full story.

Whilst Lauren was obtaining treatment, the more strict limitation date of three (3) years after the injury date, was fast approaching. We were able to agree with the Insurer to extend this limitation date in the hope of settlement of the case prior to court proceedings being entered into.

With the time limitation protected, Lauren could concentrate on obtaining treatment. We assisted Lauren to obtain treatment for her injuries until they were at the point where they were not getting any better or worse, they had stabilised.

We then sent Lauren off for assessment by our specialist doctor who opined that Lauren had soft tissue injuries to her neck. At this stage, Lauren had changed jobs into child care and was managing ok with this work due to an understanding employer that allowed her to take breaks and not do heavy lifting. Our specialist commented that she was coping ok with this work. He also noted with regards to her music, that she would “have to modify how she performs.”

This was the differing aspect of the case to other whiplash injuries. How could we put Laurens best case forward to show the Insurer that she was at a loss from not just her current day job but also her potential music career? We needed more evidence. We needed to show that a. Lauren was likely to pursue this career and was likely to be successful AND b. that this injury has had a significant effect on this.

What did we do?

1. We wrote back to our doctor requesting more detailed specific information. We asked him to provide us with a short addendum report commenting on whether in his opinion:-

  1. The action of holding and playing the guitar could exacerbate her symptoms from injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident.

  2. The action of holding the chords and looking down at the guitar and/or her music could exacerbate the symptoms from her injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accidents.

  3. Whether it is reasonable to expect that she would be restricted in her music performance options due to the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accidents.

2. We asked Lauren to provide us with her university results.

3. We interviewed Lauren with regards to her plans once completing uni and provided this information to the Insurer.

4. Lauren was able to provide us with a Business Plan she had put together at Uni for an assessment. This detailed a five (5) year plan with costing and anticipated profits.

5. We took precise details from Lauren with regards to how the injury impacted on her ability to practice and perform on the guitar.

We used this extra evidence to paint a more thorough picture of the effects this injury had on Lauren’s life. This resulted in a significant increase in the settlement amount during negotiations.



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