A Personal Injury Claim Case Study - Client Situation
Ms S suffered a serious knee injury after falling off a zip wire at an outdoor camping and activity centre. As a result of the accident, she had to have regular physiotherapy and spent about 6 months off work.
After returning to work, Ms S struggled with various tasks, so she agreed to have surgery. She went back to work six months after the operation, but the pain continued and she had to wear a specialist brace on her knee.
She worked extremely hard on her rehabilitation. However, she had to undergo an unrelated operation, which led to a period of immobility, as she couldn’t move her injured knee and this led to a flare-up and extreme exacerbation of her pain.
She suffered colour changes in her knee and redness, swelling and an intense burning pain. She was diagnosed by her treating consultants as suffering from a debilitating pain condition Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
Ms S underwent a nerve block but this was unsuccessful in easing her symptoms. She was also offered a pain management programme, as well as the option of considering Spinal Cord Stimulation Treatment.
Before the accident, Ms S had been a very active person, enjoying walking, Zumba and many sports. But after the zip wire fall, she couldn’t run or take part in any sports.
The accident also affected her mental health, as she suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and stress in the months afterwards. She also lost confidence and worried that she wouldn’t cope if she had another injury.
Ms S contacted our Personal Injury Solicitors for a free consultation and legal advice, and after listening to what had happened, we felt she had a strong claim for compensation.
Our Head of Serious Injury Claims, Solicitor Melanie Burden, who specialises in chronic pain, agreed to deal with the case on a No Win, No Fee basis. Melanie was assisted by Gulderen Salih, an Associate Chartered Legal Executive who specialises in serious injury claims.
How We Helped
Melanie and Gulderen arranged for Ms S to have medical assessments by independent orthopaedic and knee specialists, as well as a clinical psychologist and an expert in pain medicine. They prepared medical reports detailing her injuries and how they have affected her life.
Melanie and Gulderen also investigated what caused the accident and found that the outdoor activity centre had failed to make sure Ms S was properly positioned on the zip wire seat.
On the evening of the accident, the owner of the centre had watched as Ms S tried to set herself on the seat. But at no point did he tell her she was doing it wrong, so she was let go off the ground before she was safely seated.
The outdoor activity centre accepted responsibility for the accident, so Melanie and Gulderen started negotiating with them to agree a fair compensation settlement. This would reflect the pain and suffering Ms S had gone through since the accident, as well as the financial impact.
For example, Ms S had to pay for her home to be adapted and mobility aids to help her live with her injuries, including a shower seat and a self-propelling wheelchair.
She also felt unable to wait for medical appointments on the NHS because of her anxiety, so had paid for private medical treatment instead.
Another cost to consider in the compensation settlement was the amount of care given by family members, as this went over and above what would normally be expected.
Unfortunately, Ms S’s knee condition is expected to get worse as she gets older, so we also looked at her likely future needs. This may include possible knee replacements, extra care and assistance, and pain management treatment.
Ms S was awarded £105,000 in compensation for the zip wire accident. This will help her get the care and support she needs, including more aids and home adaptations and possibly an automatic car.
The compensation also means she can carry on receiving the physiotherapy she needs, and access the private pain treatment programmes that have been recommended to her.
It should also help ease any financial worries if she has to have more surgery on her knee and take more time off work.
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