UNISON member Neil Bartlett has secured nearly £2,000 in compensation following a road traffic accident. The Highways Maintenance Officer from Swansea secured the compensation with the support of Unison’s free legal assistance scheme with Frizzell and union lawyers Thompsons Solicitors.

The accident took place in Llansamlet, Swansea, in February 2006. As Mr Bartlett was driving alone along Samlet Road, a van driver in the outside lane pulled into Mr Bartlett’s lane and collided with his Volvo S40. The other driver had failed to check their mirror before their manoeuvre.

Neil Bartlett, aged 39, suffered whiplash to the neck and shoulder and was off work for 3 days following the accident. A successful claim was made against the other driver’s insurance.

Neil Bartlett explains: “Before the accident I was unaware that my union membership covered road traffic accidents as well as accidents at work. The specialist support provided by UNISON and their solicitors Thompsons was excellent. I doubt I would have had such good legal representation and secured so much compensation if I’d simply used the solicitors offered by my insurer.”

Paul O'Shea, regional secretary for UNISON Cymru, comments: “Neil Bartlett’s claim demonstrates the importance of union members using their union’s legal service for accidents outside the workplace. Motor insurance companies are increasingly referring claimants to their own panel solicitors, who may not provide the same independent and specialist legal advice as trade union solicitors.”

Justin Thomas from Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff comments: “Whiplash is probably the most common type of injury sustained following a road traffic accident. In Mr Bartlett’s case, the medical evidence obtained led to a swift and satisfactory settlement with the insurers.”