Losing injury claims can be an expensive proposition

Industry news roundup: week ended 19 Nov 2012:

Defending a losing injury claim can be an expensive proposition, as it was revealed this week that costs to insurers and local authorities are very high indeed.

First up is the story of a mother from Wigan racking up a personal injury compensation payment of £90,000 after she was hit by a car. Lisa Eagleton, a thirty eight year old mum from Worsley Mesnes, had been on her way to visit a friend when she was hit by a vehicle as she attempted to cross Darlington Street.

Ms Eagleton sutained a broken nose, a broken leg, and quite serious facial bruising, and was treated at the Wigan Infirmary for her injuries. However, the damage done to her leg was much worse than first anticipated, and while surgical staff laboured to save the limb after it had been infected, ultimately Ms Eagleton had to have her leg amputated.

The accident claim made by Ms Eagleton was disputed by the insurers of the driver who struck her on the grounds that she was responsible for the injuries after stepping into the path of the car. However, something must have put the fear of God in the insurers, as just a week prior to trial Ms Eagleton received a 50 per cent liability offer, earning the woman the £90,000 compensation payout.

However, one local authority in the East Midlands is even worse off, after reports emerged this week that Norfolk County Council has had to pay out in excess of £11 million thanks to the poor condition of the county’s footpaths and roads. From 2005 through 2011, there were 6,273 accident claims made against the council, according to a recent article in the Norwich Evening News, with the local authority being blamed for a wide range of damage, from pedestrians tripping over pavement cracks to cars suffering damage after hitting potholes.

1,720 of these claims were successful. This led to the massive compensation payments, the largest of which was the £63,000 paid to an individual in Great Yarmouth after they tripped on a cracked footpath and sustained fractures to their ribs.

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