Instructions were received from an Insurer to investigate and defend a road traffic incident involving a pedestrian and the Insurer’s driver.  Apart from the merits of the case, which were contentious, on the medical side it was argued that as a result of the Pursuer being knocked down by the Insurer’s driver, she had sustained extensive injuries involving multiple fractures.  The pedestrian had been hospitalised for six months following the accident and claimed that she suffered from memory deficit and depression and might require a guardian to be appointed to manage her financial affairs.

This case demonstrates the necessity to prepare fully for cases which have high potential values.

On behalf of the Insurers, we obtained the necessary Medical Reports from an Orthopaedic Surgeon, a Neurosurgeon and a Care Report on the Pursuer’s needs.  We also recovered the Pursuer’s Medical Records which demonstrated pre-existing problems with alcohol addiction.  Having developed a fuller picture of this particular Pursuer, and given the potentially high valuation of the claim, it was decided that it might be worth instructing some type of surveillance.

Surveillance was duly instructed for several days, which disclosed that the Pursuer was not housebound and severely handicapped as presented in the Medical Reports.  On the contrary, surveillance disclosed the Pursuer leading a normal life, walking unaided, driving, shopping and carrying out various other household duties.

This evidence was presented to the Pursuer’s Solicitors in advance of the Proof Hearing and the initial offer which had been made on the basis that the Pursuer had recovered from her injuries was eventually accepted.

This case demonstrates that in certain cases surveillance may be successful although it is not always guaranteed but it is ever important to prepare well in advance of any Proof Hearing.  This gives the benefit of time should evidence come to light that may assist in negotiation, as this case clearly shows.