A GMB member who was advised to accept just £1,250 in damages after a car accident has received almost nine times the amount in compensation after help from her trade union.

Lesley Langton, 42, from Washington, suffered a serious back injury during the accident in May 2007.

She had pullled up in her car at a junction when she was hit from behind by another vehicle.

Mrs Langton is still being treated by an osteopath more than two years later. As a nurse and care home manager she has to be careful about which duties she undertakes and in particular avoid heavy lifting.

Insurers appointed their own solicitors

Following the accident she contacted her insurer which instructed its solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

She was told within months of the accident that her claim was only worth £1,250. When she complained that she felt it should be worth more because she was still suffering from back pain they said they might be able to settle it for £1,700.

Mrs Langton decided to contact her trade union legal services department for advice. The GMB instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Thompsons Solicitors recovered nine times as much compensation

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

The case was successfully settled for £9,000.

Mrs Langton said: “I am so glad I contacted the GMB’s legal services department to find out if what I was being quoted was reasonable. I thought the offer was low because I knew that I had been in agony with my back. I had said I thought the claim was worth £5,000 but they said I was being “wholly unrealistic”. I had no idea that it would be worth nearly nine times as much as the original offer.”

Julie Elliott from the GMB added: “Members of the GMB are able to use our legal services free of charge and this case highlights our solicitors’ expertise and experience. We would encourage our members to contact our legal services department first if they are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident.”

David Mole from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Victims of road accidents should seek the services of an independent solicitor to enable them to receive the compensation to which they are entitled. Thompsons will always work to gain the maximum amount of compensation in the smallest amount of time for all our clients.”