Unite Legal Services secure compensation for whiplash victim

A Unite 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 driver crashed into the rear of his vehicle.

George 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 and, as a result of his accident, he was unable to return to work for six weeks.

Despite George’s insurer knowing that he was a member of Unite, they did not inform him that he could contact his union and George was instead referred to a high street law firm.

It was only then through the intervention of his union branch secretary that he was referred to Unite Legal Services for help. George’s membership meant that he had access to free legal advice and support, which resulted in him being awarded £6,500 in compensation for both his injuries and loss of earnings.

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 was able to receive 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.”

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%.”