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Case Study

Keith Barrett instructed by 13 members of one family following accident on Christmas Day

In a devastating accident on Christmas Day 2017, an 86-year-old man was seriously injured at a festive gathering in Surrey with his family when the father-in-law of one of his daughters drove his car into him. Twelve other members of the family were also present.

Keith spoke to Mr M’s wife and daughter at the hospital following the incident, to explain how he could represent all 13 of the family in a claim against the insurers of the driver, who had immediately apologised for his actions.
Mr M underwent several operations, including an above knee amputation of his right leg. Keith worked quickly, sending a letter of claim to the driver’s insurers, who then instructed another law firm. Keith looked to receive an early admission of liability in what appeared a straightforward case, to be able to fund urgent specialist care for Mr M.

The Defendant’s insurer did not admit liability and therefore Keith issues court proceedings within 5 weeks of sending a letter of claim.

The Defendant’s solicitors alleged Keith issued proceedings prematurely and refused to meet Keith’s client’s costs of issuing court proceedings.

Despite refusing to admit liability, an interim payment was made and the family moved Mr M into a private nursing home because his injuries were too severe for him to return home. The family said Mr M was happy at the home.

In the meantime, the other family members continued to suffer from the devastating side effects of the horrific incident they witnessed on Christmas Day. Despite the driver urging the insurers and their law firm to settle, for several more months, they refused to admit liability, meaning the family’s despair was further compounded. 
Eventually, Keith achieved admission of liability and settlement on behalf of Mr M and in June 2018, the judge approved settlement of nearly £500,000.

Keith has also settled the majority of the 12 other claims and expects to finalise those remaining very soon.
On 8th October 2019 Judgment was handed down at the Senior Court Costs Office in which the Costs Judge ruled Keith did not issue proceedings prematurely and acted in his client’s best interests in doing so.

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