A cyclist who was injured when a white van collided with him has received compensation for his injuries-in spite of staged photographs taken by the van driver in an attempt to contest the claim.
In May 2015, Walter Hamilton was cycling on the outskirts of Edinburgh City when he was knocked off of his bike by a van that was turning right immediately ahead of him. Walter fell to the ground and suffered severe lacerations to his face, and damage to one of his knees.
According to the cyclist, the driver of the van was immediately apologetic after the accident occurred and admitted all liability for the collision. However, when Walter made a claim for a bike accident injury against Aviva Insurance, it was revealed that the driver had given his own insurance company a different version of events-and had staged photographs to support his claims.
Due to the false photographic evidence, Aviva Insurance denied their policyholder's liability for the accident and contested the injury claim. Walter had taken his own photographs of the accident scene and sought legal counsel to bring a case against Aviva Insurance.
After receiving Walter's own photographs, Aviva Insurance admitted liability for the accident. Despite this admission, they tried to offer Walter a settlement much lower than his injuries entitled him to receive. Walter made moves to follow through his legal action in court. Less than three weeks before the hearing was due to take place, Aviva Insurance agreed to pay Walter a settlement of £17,000 for his injuries.
Walter's legal representative criticised the insurance company for believing the staged photographs, and for initially offering Walter a low level of compensation. She stated: "Walter's case also shows the importance of taking photos. If possible, photos should be taken immediately following a collision, as these are the best evidence in supporting a particular version of events. Insurance companies often try and under-settle cases by putting forward low offers as they did initially in Walter's case, but a fair level of compensation was fought for and won."