SALLY SORTS IT: Compensation claim that turned into a car crash

SALLY SORTS IT: Left waiting three years for my car crash compensation even though other driver admitted full liability

In November 2019 I was involved in a car accident and injured my back.

The driver who hit my vehicle admitted full liability to both his and my insurance companies. Minster Law Solicitors took on my compensation claim but as yet I have had nothing.

I run my own dog-walking business out of my van, so once the vehicle was written off, I had to purchase a new one out of my own pocket — or, should I say, with the help of my parents.

Claim: A reader has been left waiting almost three years to be fully compensated after they were involved in a car accident that left them in pain and without a vehicle for work

Claim: A reader has been left waiting almost three years to be fully compensated after they were involved in a car accident that left them in pain and without a vehicle for work

Due to the injuries I sustained, and while looking for a new van, I was off work for several weeks.

I was referred to a physiotherapist appointed by Minster Law, which did not help, and my lower back pain remained. Eventually I referred myself to a chiropractor at my own expense and have spent the past two-and-a-half years going weekly to try and resolve the back pain.

I went back to work as soon as I obtained my new van in December 2019. It is a physical job and so being in pain constantly is unpleasant, but I had to pay the bills and couldn’t afford to take any more time off.

I have been chasing Minster Law about my compensation for nearly three years. The firm sent me to a doctor who assessed my symptoms and agreed that the injuries are a result of the accident. I was referred to a specialist for a spinal nerve injection in October 2021.

I am always the one chasing for an answer and every time it is the same: either the firm hasn’t heard back yet from someone, or the wrong document has been sent by that person. Every step seems to take weeks.

I am in a tricky financial spot right now, what with this all happening just before Covid struck and being self-employed and single.

I am now facing possibly losing my home and having to move in with my parents, which is something I don’t wish to have to do.

If I could just get the compensation I deserve for an accident that wasn’t my fault, I think this would help.

J. M., Wakefield.

Sally Hamilton replies: Living with pain while trying to make a living must be unbearable.

When we spoke, you explained how the other driver’s insurer paid out for your van with no quibble. But the trouble is you had leased your vehicle and the payout simply paid off the finance company’s loan. You had to turn to your parents for a loan; you really do not want to lose your home and your independence.

I contacted Minster Law on your behalf and asked them why it was taking so long to arrange compensation with the third party’s insurer after your debilitating accident.

Stuart Hanley, head of legal practice at Minster Law, went away to investigate your case.

A couple of days later he admitted you had faced poor service. A member of the team then apologised to you directly. Mr Hanley says some aspects of your case that contributed to the delays have been out of the firm’s control.

He says issues surrounding the accuracy of your medical assessment and the fact you are still receiving treatment means the case is complex.

He says: ‘However, we accept that more could have been done to counter at least a proportion of these delays.’

Unfortunately, the firm cannot say yet how much you are in line to receive. But in the meantime, after my intervention, they agreed to send you £500 as an apology for the poor service, unrelated to your compensation claim, plus it has appointed a more senior claims handler to the case.

It has also arranged a £1,000 interim compensation payment. I hope this will keep the wolves from the door.

Straight to the point 

My wife and I were travelling by train from Leighton Buzzard to Doncaster. At the station my wife was knocked down an escalator, causing severe injuries which resulted in a trip to the hospital before we headed home. I asked for a refund from the Trainline but we were refused.

T. S., via email.

Rail industry rules mean the type of ticket you purchased is non-refundable but, after Money Mail intervened, a spokesman agreed to provide you with a full refund.

*** 

After buying Kinder egg products for my grandchildren at Easter they all had to be thrown away because salmonella was found at one of its factories. I asked for a refund and received no response.

S. C., Bromley.

Ferrero, which owns Kinder, says the situation was ‘completely unprecedented’ and apologises for not responding. You have now been offered a voucher worth the price of the affected products.

*** 

I bought two travel insurance policies from Staysure by mistake. That was four months ago and I have been fighting for a £228.46 refund since.

C.M., The Wirral.

A Staysure spokesman says it processed your refund the day before I got in contact and will call you to make sure it has cleared. The insurer also paid an extra £50 to apologise for the inconvenience.

  • Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email sally@dailymail.co.uk — include phone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.