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Title: £117,000 for diesel spill accident biker - 6 January 2016

Amount: £117,000

Mr H, an offshore maintenance and construction engineer, was injured when he lost control of his motorcycle as a result of a diesel spill. He suffered from injuries including a radial head fracture to his right (dominant) elbow and a scaphoid fracture of his right wrist which required metal plating; both of which were likely to cause him difficulties in the future.

The claim was submitted to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) under the ‘untraced drivers’ scheme,’ which is intended to compensate victims of untraced drivers for their injuries and financial losses. This was on the basis that the diesel spill was most likely caused by a lorry (or lorries) overfilling (i.e. ‘necking’) their fuel tank(s), or by failing to properly secure the same in order to avoid any spillages.

The MIB originally agreed to pay for Mr H to undergo treatment; however they then withdrew such funding and sought (wrongly) to reject Mr H’s claim.

Bikelawyer prepared a formal appeal on the basis that the MIB’s decision to reject Mr H’s claim was wrong; that they had incorrectly assessed the weight of the evidence and the burden of proof upon Mr H; and that they had failed to adequately investigate the claim.
The arbitrator agreed with Bikelawyer in determining that the diesel was caused by one (or more) untraced drivers and that the MIB were therefore obliged to compensate the Claimant.
Following further medical evidence and negotiations, Bikelawyer were able to negotiate settlement of Mr H’s claim in the sum of £117,752.16.

This case illustrates the importance of instructing specialist solicitors, given that multiple complaints, a formal appeal and strong negotiations (which caused the MIB to increase their offer by £39,000 during the course of negotiations) were required to get the right result for Mr H.

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