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Keoghs Scotland & 1st Central: LVI trial win

News And Events17/03/2020

The Keoghs Scotland team has successfully defended a low velocity impact claim and secured full cost recovery for our client, 1st Central.  The trial, held at Stirling Sheriff Court, lasted one day and we successfully argued that the claimant had failed to prove any injury was caused as a result of the accident.

The claimant had attended her GP the day after the accident and had obtained a medical report from an independent expert GP. The GP’s report was dated one month post-accident and concluded that the claimant had suffered a soft tissue injury with symptoms likely to persist for a further three months. However, critically, nil of note was found on physical examination by the claimant’s expert. The claimant had also obtained an engineer report commenting on the level of damage to the vehicles involved.

Our strategy in this case was to avoid the unnecessary cost of instructing our own expert reports and, instead, to rely on the thorough examination and interrogation of the claimant’s expert witnesses. We also led the evidence of our client’s insured. After carefully questioning all of the witnesses, we were able to prove to the court that, despite GP attendance, there was no contemporaneous evidence of physical injury and the claimant had failed to prove her case. 

As a result of this success, no damages were awarded to the claimant and we were able to secure full costs recovery for our client, 1st Central. 

1st Central’s Counter Fraud Director, Paul Priestley, said: “1st Central takes a zero tolerance approach to low speed injury claims and this case was no different.  We worked hard with Keoghs to get the right result in this Scottish trial.  In a significant result for our industry, this case will serve as a good example to claimants that attending their GP the next day does not mean a pay-out will inevitably follow.”

Keoghs Partner Emily Jeffrey said: ”The volume of Scottish LVI claims is on the increase and a broadbrush approach of “it is more economic to settle” sends the wrong message to the claimant market. Each case should be considered on its own merits and in line with a carefully planned strategy for handling LVI claims. The future introduction of Qualified One Way Cost Shifting makes it even more important for insurers to consider their approach to handling Scottish claims.  This case goes to show that even when the claimant has sought medical treatment and has obtained supportive expert reports, the right strategy can achieve success”.