The personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP has recently secured admissions of liability in two cases where clients suffered serious injuries in separate road traffic accidents.
The first client was a pedestrian who suffered multiple injuries, the most significant of which was an amputation of the lower part of his right leg, after being hit by a car which mounted the pavement. The second client was riding his motorbike along a main road when a car pulled out of a side road and collided with him.
In the first case the insurers took some time to investigate liability, but in the interim complied fully with the Rehabilitation Code applicable to personal injury cases. Before admitting liability however, the insurers did engage with the firm’s personal injury team and the client and provided funding for a case manager, alternative accommodation, physio and OT input. An admission of liability has now been made and they continue to work collaboratively with the firm to ensure the claimant’s current needs are met.
Despite the severity of the accident in the second case, the defendant sought to deny any liability and suggested an alternative version of events – even after he was successfully prosecuted. His insurers ultimately made the admission of liability but this was delayed by his approach. Once again, the insurers did comply with the Rehabilitation Code during this period and have since provided interim funding for a case manager and ongoing stay at a residential nursing home for the client due to his ongoing limitation and issues with infection.
Philippa Luscombe, partner in the personal injury team acting for both clients, comments: “It is always very frustrating for us and our clients when a defendant seeks to deny liability in a case where they should be making an admission, however the insurers must take those instructions and investigate thoroughly before responding. In both of these cases, the insurers have ultimately made full admissions.
"The positives coming out of the above cases are the ways in which the Rehabilitation Code has been used whilst liability remains outstanding in order to enable the claimants to get the support and input they need. The ability to source early interim damages to ensure proper support, equipment, treatment and rehabilitation can make a huge difference to claimants not only in terms of the speed and extent of recovery, but also psychologically. These cases are good examples of how utilising the code and both parties working co-operatively can make a real difference to the claimants."