A Road Traffic Accident Claim Case Study - Client Situation
Our client was driving an Army Land Rover Defender at around 15mph on a road with a 20mph speed limit. But while passing a parked vehicle transporter, a car emerged from the other side of the transporter and hit his Land Rover.
The accident happened so quickly that our client didn’t have time to sound his horn or take any evasive action. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, with the driver of the car not needing any medical attention and our client feeling fit enough to go back to work.
But as the day progressed, he started to feel some pain and discomfort in the left side of his back. Over the following weeks and months, he couldn’t lift anything and had to stop his usual running as the back pain became increasingly worse.
Eventually, he asked the doctor to send him for physiotherapy, but he was denied treatment as recruits had priority. Our client took sick leave and upon returning to work, was placed on light duties, but still his back pain showed no signs of improving. He therefore became exempt from physical fitness testing and had a permanent downgrade in his service status.
He underwent two back operations at a private hospital, which improved his condition slightly but not as much as he’d hoped for. He also had an MRI scan, and went on a one-month residential course, receiving back pain treatments including hydrotherapy and physiotherapy, as well as counselling and acupuncture. Next, he arranged to see a pain specialist at Royal Hampshire County Hospital and was prescribed a range of medication.
Despite the extensive treatment, he still suffers with back pain and struggles to sleep at night, which has caused him extreme stress and anxiety.
Furthermore, he may need more surgery in the future, and his injuries have considerably affected his Army career. Whereas he’d been hoping to be promoted to sergeant following more than a decade’s service, he was discharged from the Army on medical grounds.
How We Helped
The injured serviceman decided to claim compensation from the driver of the car and approached our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors for free legal advice. Susan Vanden, a Partner and our Road Traffic Accident Technical Manager, reviewed the details of the car accident and agreed to represent him on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Susan and her team arranged an independent medical assessment for our client, so the full extent of his injuries could be identified, along with any potential care and rehabilitation needs.
Susan approached the car driver’s insurer, and in presenting the case argued that the car driver’s negligence led to our client’s injuries and subsequent back problems. For example, our client now cannot drive for more than an hour and a half without experiencing backache, and must take medication that affects his driving.
Similarly, he can no longer enjoy activities such as going to restaurants or the cinema, as he cannot sit for long periods of time without intense back pain. As a result, his family and social life has been badly affected, which has affected his self-confidence, self-esteem and relationships.
Prior to the car accident, he also used to enjoy physical activities such as going to the gym, running and playing golf. His enforced inactivity has affected his physical fitness, which in turn has fuelled stress and anxiety.
Our client’s home life has also been affected, as following his back injury, he couldn’t carry out normal household chores, and found shaving, bathing and getting in and out of bed a struggle. While his partner did help with the household chores, our client felt useless and incapacitated.
While causation - a direct link between the defendant’s actions and our client’s injuries - wasn’t accepted, we still managed to settle on the best possible terms.
Following negotiations with the car drivers’ insurer, our client was awarded a total settlement of £150,000 in compensation. This reflected the severity of his injuries and the pain and suffering he had gone through since the accident, as well as the wider impact this has had on his life.
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