Paula Shaw was driving home from work in her Peugeot 307cc when the ‘pretensioner’ in her seatbelt suddenly malfunctioned. Her car came to a sudden stop and Paula was left with a neck injury, jarring to her hand, wrist and shoulder, as well as a whiplash injury to her spine.

The ‘pretensioner’ is a safety feature of modern seatbelts which should activate in the case of an accident, using an explosive charge to rapidly tighten the seatbelt and push the driver forcefully back into their seat.

Surgery and eight months off work

The accident, which also left Ms Shaw with anxiety about travelling in cars, led to her being off work for two months. She eventually needed surgery to remove calcification in her shoulder and that meant a further six months off work.

Paula sought legal help and Thompsons Solicitors made a claim against Peugeot. Peugeot’s solicitors and insurers accepted liability but only offered £4,100 in damages, alleged that Paula had been partially responsible for the accident, and didn’t even offer an apology.

Thompsons’ investigation secured the right level of compensation

Thompsons’ detailed investigations proved that Paula was in no way liable and secured £35,000 in total compensation – nearly ten times the original amount offered by the insurance firm.

Previously a very active person, Paula said: “I was just driving home and all of a sudden there was a loud bang and my seatbelt suddenly tightened. The incident left me feeling very nervy about being in a car. I’m no longer the person I was. Peugeot haven’t even apologised.”

Paula continued: “Thompsons were brilliant, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. They came highly recommended from my Dad and I would not hesitate to urge others to contact them.”

Insurers tried and failed to get away with low offer

Paula’s solicitor, David Robinson, said: “Peugeot tried to fob Paula off without properly investigating the cause of the problem with the car. Expert advice was obtained without which she would have been left under-compensated and in the dark about who was really to be held responsible.

“Peugeot’s insurers thought they could get away with dismissing the claim with a very low initial offer. We are pleased to have secured Paula the level of compensation she deserved.”