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Minimising a claim through proactivity

Claim value: £370,000
Line of Business: Claims
Trade: Engineering

When a claimant was injured at work, we encouraged our customer to be proactive, minimising the damages payable – and damage to the future of the business.

The claimant, a 43 year-old maintenance assistant in an engineering firm, was undertaking routine maintenance when he was crushed by a hydraulic ram, leaving him with life-threatening injuries and in an induced coma for several weeks. His employer, our customer, was facing prosecution and a hefty fine that could have amounted to several hundred thousand pounds, which would have written off their aspiration to become the UK’s most advanced engineering business.

With the assistance of our panel solicitors, the case was retained in the Magistrate’s Court, rather than referred to the Crown Court. In return for an early guilty plea, a one-third discount was applied, limiting the fine to £14K. We advised our customer to involve the injured party in rehabilitation prior to receipt of a formal claim, which encouraged a more positive relationship between the two parties. The claim was litigated due to limitation, which provided an opportunity to invite the claimant to an early Joint Settlement Meeting upon receipt of his medical evidence. The claimant was able to return to work on alternative duties within 12 months of the accident.

Our panel solicitors achieved a saving of over £200K against the initial reserve. With an agreement for 25% of contributory negligence, settlement of damages and the claimant’s costs was achieved at £370K – a vastly smaller sum than would have been typical for a claim for ongoing care and loss of earnings for a man in his early forties.