Compensation for being hit by a taxi

Tell Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, February 17, 2019

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Dear Claudienne

I live in rural Jamaica and I am writing to seek assistance from you in regards to an accident that took place in 2014.

On December 14, 2014 my son who was standing 'backways' on the soft shoulder of a road was hit by a taxi. The taxi did not stop and was chased by a bike driver, who forced him to return to the scene of the accident and take my son to the hospital.

He was seriously injured and was in the hospital for three months. His injuries included a broken hip, hand and foot. He now walks and 'dips'.

I am a poor woman, and during the period when he was recovering from his injuries and I had to take him to the hospital 14 times for therapy. I had to pay a taxi $5,000 each time.

I got a lawyer to take up my son's case with the insurance company that had insured the taxi. However, the lawyer, who had the case for four years, eventually told me that the insurance company refused to settle the claim. The lawyer said that I would have to sue the taximan to recover damages.

I then hired a different lawyer to deal with the case and the second lawyer, in April 2018, succeeded in getting the insurance company to pay my son compensation totalling $2 million.

The lawyer, in April 2018, had my son sign the release for the $2 million.

As a result of the accident my son can't work anymore so I believe that the settlement should have been more than $2 million.

To date we have not received any money and calls to the lawyer have not been helpful.

In November 2018 I took the matter to the General Legal Council in Kingston, but up to the time of writing to you (January 16, 2019), I am yet to receive a date from them for a hearing of my case.

I need you to help my son and any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Distressed

Dear Distressed

You told Tell Claudienne on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 that the General Legal Council had set a May 14, 2019 date for a hearing of your complaint. After speaking with you, Tell Claudienne contacted the attorney-at-law on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The lawyer said that she had a cheque and statement of account for you at her office in respect of the settlement with the insurance company. She said that you had refused to accept the cheque and sign the discharge document.

She said that the statement included a sum for compensation for damage done to her property by your son.

You told Tell Claudienne that it was your belief that from the $2 million the lawyer received from the insurance company your son would get $800,000. You believed that he was entitled to more than that amount.

You also raised objections to the current lawyer telling you that the previous lawyer had to be paid a sum from the settlement. However, you admitted that you did not, in fact, know how much he would actually get as you had not seen the statement of account.

After your conversation with the Tell Claudienne column you decided to go to the lawyer's office to get the statement of account.

We note that you went to the lawyer's office and got the statement and cheque. The cheque you received was for $1.2 million and the statement showed as follows:

The lawyer's contingency fee: $606,770; payment for damage to property done by your son $30,000; former lawyer's fee $80,000; miscellaneous expenses $15,000.

We note that you will be informing the General Legal Council that you have reached a settlement with your lawyer. The column has called the General Legal Council several times, but the telephones were not answered.

We wish you all the best.


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