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The claimant in this case was a highly experienced flight attendant who worked for a major airline, regularly travelling across the globe on both short and long haul flights.
In 2015 she was working aboard a flight returning from Washington DC. While on the flight she attempted to retrieve a very heavy metal storage canister from an upper shelf in the cabin. Unfortunately, the canister had become jammed on part of the release mechanism and, when she finally lifted it free, the heavy object’s abrupt movement severely jarred her neck and shoulder.
In serious pain, she immediately sought medical attention the moment the flight landed at Gatwick, with subsequent X-rays determining that she had suffered severe injuries to her neck, shoulder and nerves.
She received treatment via the NHS and, later, privately, with three courses of physiotherapy and two lots of surgery, the second of which required her to wear a neck brace for six weeks before and after the procedure.
Unable to work for over 17 months, and with medical bills approaching £9,000, the claimant had previously spoken to her employer which had stated she would be able to make a claim for loss of earnings and the private medical procedures through its insurance once she returned from sick leave. However, just before the end of the policy’s three-year limitation it rejected her claim on the basis of a technicality.
In 2018 the claimant approached a firm of solicitors with a view to commencing legal action against her employers. The solicitors entered into a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, obtaining ATE Personal Injury Insurance cover under its delegated authority arrangement with DAS UK. In particular, this gave the claimant protection against liability for legal fees in case the case was unsuccessful.
Proceedings were issued on behalf of the claimant but the airline defended it, maintaining a denial of liability. Despite this, the solicitors felt that the matter still had reasonable prospects of success (over 51%) so DAS UK continued to back the case.
The airline’s representatives made an offer of settlement of £13,000, but, following the advice of her solicitors, the claimant chose not to accept it because medical evidence was not yet complete in relation to the potential future loss of earnings, which meant that the solicitors could not accurately place a total value on the claim.
DAS UK was notified of the offer and continued to provide indemnity, including for the potential costs risk associated with declining an offer of settlement, and further negotiations were able to continue.
The claimant was eventually awarded improved compensation of £22,000 for her injuries and losses by her employer. She has since resumed her career as a flight attendant, working for another major airline.
Throughout the proceedings, the solicitor was free to use their own experience and legal capabilities to fight the case. As an insurer DAS UK supported their decisions, trusting in their expertise and not querying decisions. In particular, at the point an offer was received and the advice given was to reject it, all the firm needed to do was notify DAS UK. As a result the firm was able to leverage the support of an insurer to demonstrate to the defendants that the claimant was unwilling to back down until they received their full entitlement.
The policy enabled the firm to fight for the rights of the claimant while assuring the claimant that they were backed by a supportive insurer that was willing to help them to get the best outcome by taking the financial strain and insuring the risk of litigation.
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 email@example.com.
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