Former postal worker Louise Balsom from Daventry has been awarded £419,000 by a Judge following a “minor traffic accident” after a lengthy legal battle. In April 2002, Louise, then aged 36, was driving her Ford Escort when she suffered a “rear end shunt” at low speed from the car behind. The accident, on the A361 South Way in Daventry, was entirely the fault of the other driver but the injuries Louise received changed her life forever. She suffered whiplash damage to her neck, shoulders and back and went on to develop severe fibromyalgia.
Initially a non-specialist solicitor obtained her an offer of £6,000 compensation but, seriously ill and unable to work, she found our details on the internet and has now been awarded £419,000 plus all legal costs.
Louise, who lives with her partner Philip and is the mother of two young children, will now receive the personal care and attention she will require. Louise is disabled and frequently uses a wheelchair and motorised scooter to get around. She is unlikely ever to get better.
In a court case that lasted eight days, Louise was accused by the defendant’s lawyers of “malingering” and “exaggerating” her injuries. However the judge found her to be entirely genuine and awarded her £419,000 for loss of earnings and for her pain and suffering.
In his 101 page written judgment Mr Recorder Timothy Clark sitting in the Northampton County Court said, “I am satisfied that the claimant is a truthful witness who has done her best to provide an accurate picture of her life before and since the accident. She was entirely convincing when giving evidence. In some respects she is a shadow of her former self. She looked drained and haunted. It is clear from the evidence of the claimant and all who know her that prior to the accident the claimant was a very active happy woman who enjoyed a fulfilling family and social life, and pursued a job she enjoyed. “
“By all accounts the claimant was an outgoing and popular person. She was in a satisfactory and stable long-term relationship and was a very busy and committed mother of two children. She enjoyed a wide range of interests, including gardening, marching with a brass band (carrying her euphonium) and regular camping holidays. She was an energetic and fit person, who was to be seen completing her postal round at speed.”
Following the award Louise Balsom said, ”I am very relieved that this long fight for justice is finally over. It has been a real strain on my family and me. I almost took my former solicitor’s advice to settle for £6,000. Thankfully I found details of Brian Barr Solicitors on the internet and saw that they specialised in Fibromyalgia. I can now look forward to receiving proper care for the rest of my life.”
Following the award, Lyndsey Ryan of Brian Barr Solicitors said:- “It has been a very difficult and stressful time for Louise and her family after years of not knowing what was wrong with her and being advised to accept a low settlement sum when the medical records appeared not to have been fully considered and appreciated. Once it was clear that Louise had had continuous problems from the time of the accident things were a little easier, although Louise had a difficult time with the Defendants alleging that her symptoms were exaggerated. Although the long trial was very difficult for Louise it enabled the judge to see her over a prolonged period of time. He considered very carefully the evidence from Louise, her family and friends and from the experts in the case and delivered a very thorough and comprehensive judgment. We are delighted that we could bring the case to a very successful conclusion for Louise”.