Coronation Street

A very personal injury

It was of course only a matter of time before gormless goody goody Tyrone Dobbs was a victim of pantomime villain Todd Grimshaw, who for good measure has also caused his goody goody gormless brother Jason a lot of grief too. With talk of a no win no fee personal injury solicitor in the offing should Jason have cause to panic?

The storyline of Todd getting Jason’s building firm to use the wrong building materials to build Tyrone’s loft extension has been a surprisingly realistic example of how small family businesses like Jason’s can come unstuck with their own insurers.

If only Gary had genuinely used the wrong wood for the loft floorboards through lack of supervision or lack of training (his only apparent building qualification appearing to be by virtue of him being Owen’s son-in-law) then the insurance company would have honoured the claim with Jason, in his capacity as owner of the building firm, being responsible for the actions and mistakes of his employees.

Here because the use of the flimsy wood was a deliberate act rather than a negligent mistake, the Brothers Grimm (and likely to get Grimmer) have discovered that their insurance cover against personal injury claims from their customers is invalid.

Again, quite true to life is the Brothers Grimm reaction as they attempt to quickly and cheaply compensate poor Tyrone for his fall through the loft ceiling by offering him cold hard cash. This happens in real life more than you would think. Often small firms don’t want to involve their insurers in personal injury claims to avoid paying higher premiums in the future so will try to pay off an accident victim when a claim is first started.

The problem for personal injury solicitors in advising accident victims in this situation is of course that no-one can properly value what an injury is worth without a medical report.

In the first few months of a serious accident like Tyrone’s, most medical experts would be reluctant to give their opinion as to how well and how quickly Tyrone will recover and whether he would be left with any permanent symptoms – for example ongoing aches and pains or an increased risk of getting arthritis in the future.

Tyrone, or more accurately his better half Fizz, have thankfully seen the light and decided to approach a no win no fee solicitor to take on the personal injury claim and sensibly decided to watch the TV adverts to pick out a suitable personal injury solicitor – far better to consult The Law Society for a reputable solicitor in your area.

Todd of course started out in Coronation Street as a mild mannered pleasant young lad but of course he has been turned wicked by his ‘time down in London’ and it seems in particular by working for a ‘sophisticated’ London solicitor. Todd duly tries to frighten Tyrone off about the cost of making a personal injury claim.

Surely this will not bamboozle even the likes of Tyrone ? Hasn’t everyone has heard of ‘no win no fee’? Let’s face it, we have all been bombarded with the slogan for the last few years.

Unwittingly however Todd has stumbled onto a good point.  It is of course just Tyrone’s luck that he had his accident in 2014 and not say 18 months ago – or any time before April 2013 when there was a substantial change in how solicitors claim their legal costs in personal injury claims.

At the risk of getting on our soap box (sorry we couldn’t resist) the Insurance industry persuaded the Government to reduce what legal costs are payable in accident claims. The result being that solicitors no longer get their full legal costs paid on top of the accident victim’s damages. This leaves personal injury solicitors in the position of having to take a contribution from their client’s compensation. Needless to say the legal industry fought back against this change as they loathe taking money from accident victims (yes honestly!) but the insurers prevailed by assuring the Government that insurance premiums would drop (!) and that fraudulent claims would decrease too.

We pity the personal injury solicitor Tyrone picks as they will not have any easy job. Tyrone will of course be an ideal client, polite, honest, and co-operative but his personal injury solicitor will have the headache of trying to assess his loss of earnings from the garage. We can’t help remembering how Tyrone got all the accounts in a big mess which Kevin had to rectify. Even with well kept accounts there can be difficulties proving loss of self-employed earnings.

The reality of the situation is often that the self-employed person just works harder when they do get back to work to catch up on the back-log so that their accounts do not show any real financial loss. Also, accounts often show a lower income than the accident victim actually receives, which again can cause problems.

The biggest problem for the personal injury solicitor will of course be physically extracting the compensation and legal costs from Jason personally if his insurers are not coughing up. Luckily for Tyrone, Jason does have assets other than his pearly white teeth. Namely the builders’ yard and the flat above that he bought from Owen at a knock down price – not to mention savings from the sale of the flat he owned with Tina (RIP).

We hope he can scrape up the money to eventually pay Tyrone what he deserves and perhaps start to resurrect their friendship – just in time to be best man at Fizz and Tyrone’s wedding.

On that romantic note, if you need advice about making a personal injury claim why not give us a call – you have got nothing to lose.

Even if you were partially to blame for the accident, our no win – no fee service can still help you claim compensation – not only for financial losses, such as medical expenses or loss of earnings, but also for any pain, mental trauma or inconvenience you may have suffered.

If you think you may have a claim, please do not hesitate to call our claims helpline on 0151 239 1000 or visit our website.

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