A GMB member who was advised to accept just £800 in damages after a car accident has received more than four times the amount in compensation after help from her trade union.

The 38-year-old member from Barrow in Furness suffered whiplash injuries to her neck and shoulders following the accident in the summer of 2008.

She was driving a company van when the driver in the opposite lane lost control of his car and collided with the side of her vehicle.

The accident meant she had to have more than four months’ worth of physiotherapy. She was also off work for two months.

Offered personal injury compensation from insurance company

Just four days after the accident she was contacted by the driver’s insurance company, Quinn Direct, offering her £800 for her injuries.

She said: “At this point I hadn’t even instructed a solicitor or even thought about compensation. I was still in a lot of shock and pain. I couldn’t believe they had the audacity to ask me to settle there and then.”

Following the phone call she contacted her trade union legal services department for advice. The GMB instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Thompsons Solicitors are the UK’s most experienced personal injury lawyers and it soon became clear that the offer was far too low.

Thompsons Solicitors recovered over four times the original offer

The case was successfully settled for £3,500, more than four times the original offer from Quinn Direct.

The member, who has a 10-year-old daughter, said: “I am so glad I contacted the GMB’s legal services department to find out how to deal with my claim for compensation. I knew when I was first contacted by Quinn Direct that its offer was low but I am sure that many people would just take the money there and then without thinking it through.

“I ended up needing nine months of private physiotherapy treatment, which does not come cheap. I’ve got a young daughter to think about and during those nine months I found it difficult to do the things a mum should be doing with a daughter at that age.”

Steve Gibbons from the GMB added: “Members of the GMB are able to use our legal services for free and this case highlights the expertise and experience that those solicitors have. We would encourage all of our members to contact our legal services department first if they are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident.”

Paul Morpeth from Thompsons Solicitors Cumbria Team added: “Victims of road accidents should seek the services of a solicitor to enable them to receive the maximum amount of compensation they are entitled to. Thompsons will always work to gain the maximum amount of compensation in the smallest amount of time for all of our clients.”