Case study: “It’s worth paying, as you know you’ll be getting good lawyers that way”

Continuing a series of articles exploring aspects of the law in association with Digby Brown Solicitors, Ian and Joanne MacDonald discovered that refusing to settle for less can pay

WHEN Joanne MacDonald and her husband Ian were hit by a car in a hit-and-run collision as they waited to cross a road, their lives changed forever.

They both suffered severe injuries when the car mounted a pavement in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, and struck them. The person at the wheel, who drove away from the scene, was later convicted of dangerous driving and sent to jail.

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The couple used a local solicitor and Ian settled his claim for £90,000. Joanne received a settlement offer of £125,000 and was told she should seriously consider accepting it.

Three years later, however, Joanne and Ian were unhappy with the way the case was progressing and they were advised to speak to Digby Brown Solicitors.

The company decided to pursue a jury option for Joanne’s case. It obtained medical reports and set up a case management regime with the benefit of funding from Compensate, Digby Brown’s arms-length litigation funding company.

The driver’s insurers admitted liability. Joanne had sustained a brain injury which left her with short-term memory loss and a need for long-term care.

The benefit of having funding for the case allowed Digby Brown to establish the exact nature of the future care regime she would require, and to accurately establish the value of compensation needed.

Joanne received a substantial six-figure sum which was more than five times the original offer.

She says: “It’s definitely worth paying for a good lawyer – definitely. You just need to be with someone who knows what they are doing. There’s follow-up service there and you can go back to them if you need to.”

Her husband, Ian, says: “You see adverts from lawyers saying that if you win your case, you don’t need to pay. But it is worth paying, as you know you’ll be getting good lawyers.”