A Unite member has warned of the importance of exchanging insurance details with drivers when involved in a car accident.

The member, who does not wish to be named, has received £50,000 in compensation after what he thought was a minor car accident resulted in him being out of work.

The 61-year-old from Jacksdale, Nottingham, was hit by another car from behind in December 2004. At the time he didn’t feel injured but had the foresight to exchange insurance details with the other driver.

Pain in Neck and Back was diagnosed as whiplash

Later that day he started to feel pain in his neck and back and the following day was diagnosed with whiplash injuries by his GP.

In early 2005 he started suffering from pins and needles in his arm and he was diagnosed with a trapped nerve in his spine which had been brought on by the accident.

The fitter for soap and beauty products manufacturer, PZ Cussons, was forced to take sick leave from work and as a result was made redundant in December 2005. He hasn’t been able to find alternative employment due to his injuries.

Following the accident he contacted his union Unite which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue accident compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.

Personal Injury Claim was settled out of Court

The driver admitted liability and the insurer settled the claim out of court.

The fitter said: “I didn’t feel injured straight after the accident but my injuries turned out to be much worse than I had ever imagined. I am now out of work because I can no longer lift heavy objects.

“I am just relieved that I had exchanged details with the driver. At the time I didn’t think I would need them but I was wrong.”

Laurence Faircloth from Unite added: “Unite members 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.”

Kelly Ferguson from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Often whiplash injuries are not immediately apparent after the accident. Many drivers will think they have survived a minor accident unharmed but it is important drivers exchange insurance details no matter how minor the accident to ensure that if complications arise later it is easy to follow it up.”