A Unite the Union member who sustained neck and back whiplash injuries following a road traffic accident has secured compensation with the help of Unite Legal Services.
George Reed, a bus driver from Barnsley, was stationery in his car at a set of traffic lights, when another car drove into the rear of him.
Mr Reed attended his GP surgery the following day where he underwent medical examinations and was diagnosed with soft tissue injuries to his back, neck and shoulders. He was referred for a course of physiotherapy and prescribed strong painkillers and anti-inflammatories. He was not able to return to work for 6 weeks.
Mr Reed was initially referred to a law firm via his insurance company. However, they did not inform him that he should contact his union, despite them having full knowledge that he was a member of Unite and had a responsibility to do so under the Solicitors Code of Conduct.
It was only through the intervention of his Branch Secretary that he was referred to Unite Legal Services.
George said: “To say the accident was a shock is an understatement. I am a bus driver so spend a significant amount of time on the roads. However, nothing prepares you for the shock of a collision.
I am so pleased that I received 100% of my compensation with the support of my union. If I had stayed with the previous firm, they would have taken 25% of my money.”
The driver admitted liability for the accident and Mr Reed was awarded compensation in the sum of £6,500 for his injuries and loss of earnings.
Karen Reay, North East Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Secretary of Unite the Union, said: “This case proves the importance of union membership and the access it gives to specialist solicitors. Unite’s panel solicitors are experts and when they throw the full weight of their legal expertise behind a case it works. Here it meant they were able to secure full compensation.
High street solicitors and claims companies would probably have settled early or accepted a deal, but Unite Legal Services, who only act for injured people never for insurers, fought hard to get the best outcome for our member. We also don’t take a cut of any compensation awarded to members, whereas high street solicitors would likely take around 25%.”