A claim for a head injury

The claimant was a guest staying at a hotel in Salisbury as part of his wife’s birthday celebrations in 2018. When he sat down for a lunch with family and friends his chair gave way and he suffered a severe head injury.

Following a period of convalescence, the claimant approached a firm of solicitors with a view to commencing legal action against the hotel and its owners.

The solicitors entered into a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, obtaining ATE Personal Injury Insurance cover under its delegated authority arrangement with DAS UK.

Following initial investigation into liability, prospects of success were considered high as another guest had previously warned the hotel about the positioning and stability of the chair. Once the firm obtained a liability expert report there was an early admission of blame from the hotel’s owners.  As soon as the policy’s coverage commenced, the claimant’s solicitors had begun obtaining reports in support of his case from head injury specialists, physiotherapists and health and safety experts.

Despite the early admission of liability, however, no offer of compensation was received from the hotel. As limitation was fast approaching and the defendants continued their silence, the claimant’s solicitors were left with no alternative but to issue proceedings.

The court provided directions and despite constant attempts to enter into negotiations with the defendants they remained disengaged. Eventually, following a CCMC (Costs and Case Management Conference), a JSM (Joint Settlement Meeting) was arranged for early 2019 while the solicitors were also preparing for trial in case settlement could not be agreed. Negotiations began and several Part 36 offers were made by both parties as the JSM approached but none of these offers were accepted.

The JSM was pushed back to July 2019 and the solicitors advised DAS UK that they needed a top-up in indemnity to help continue with the case. After reviewing the file it was agreed that the case still had better than 51% prospects of success and so we provided them with a quote for a top-up cover which would need to be implemented should a settlement not be reached at the JSM.


The JSM took place and settlement for £315,000 was agreed. That this was achieved without the need to go to court which was highly beneficial for all parties.  The support provided by DAS UK as the case progressed to trial helped provide significant leverage and ultimately ensured a fair outcome for the client.  The defendants knew that, should they seek to settle the case for anything less than what was deemed acceptable by the claimant’s solicitor, they would be taken all the way to trial thus incurring significant cost liability.

From the beginning of the case DAS UK looked to support the case’s progress by working collaboratively and ensuring minimal interference by offering delegated acceptance and online case submission. We also supported offer rejections without question before finally offering additional indemnity should it be necessary in the pursuit of justice.

Disclaimer: This customer testimonial is based on a real-life case. However, some aspects of the story have been changed in order to preserve client confidentiality.

DAS UK strives to do the right thing for its solicitor business partners and their clients. For further information on our products and services contact frances.clothier@das.co.uk.

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