GMB member who was advised her case was worth just £2,000 in compensation after she was in a car accident has received three times the amount in damages after help from her union’s lawyers.

Andrea Crook, 59, from Houghton-le-Spring suffered severe whiplash injuries when the car in which she was a passenger in was hit from behind by an articulated lorry.

She suffered from 12 months of chronic pain in her neck and shoulders due to rheumatoid arthritis which was exacerbated by the accident. She was also left with a fear of travelling as a passenger in a car.

In what is an emerging pattern Mrs Crook’s car insurers advised her to instruct one of their recommended firms of solicitors. The insurance company’s law firm advised Mrs Crook her claim would be settled for damages between £1,600 and £2,000.

Mrs Crook contacted her GMB Northern’s legal officer for a second opinion who in turn referred her to Thompsons Solicitors.

UK's most experienced Personal Injury Lawyers

Thompsons Solicitors are the UK’s most experienced personal injury lawyers and it soon became clear that Mrs Crook was still suffering from the psychological effects of the accident and the offer was far too low.

Not only did Thompsons achieve a settlement of £6,500 for Mrs Crook, substantially more than the original advice from her insurer’s solicitors, they also made sure the other driver’s insurers paid for her to receive treatment to help her successfully combat her fear of travelling as a passenger in a car.

She said: “I am so glad I contacted the GMB for a second opinion. I felt the original advice I was given for the amount of compensation expected was low for the pain and suffering I had gone through. I was also still affected by the accident but I am no expert at these things, it was just a hunch that it didn’t seem right. I was at a loss about what to do.

“The GMB and Thompsons got me help to overcome my fear of being a passenger and they have helped me to receive a substantially higher level of compensation than I was first advised. I wouldn’t go with a law firm recommended by an insurance company again.”

Victims of Road Accidents are not obliged to instruct their insurance company's solicitors

GMB Northern Regional Secretary, Tom Brennan 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 first if they are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident.”

David Mole from Thompsons Solicitors added: “It is our experience that insurance panel solicitors go for quick settlements in cases like these.

“Victims of road accidents are not obliged to instruct their insurance company’s solicitors. At Thompsons we will always work to gain the maximum amount of compensation in the smallest amount of time for all of our clients.”