A Serious Injury Claim Case Study – Client Situation
Our client was riding his scooter along a bus lane when a car driver cut across to turn into an industrial estate, but without checking if it was safe to do so. The driver of the car moved into the path of our client and collided with his scooter.
This left our client with severe injuries, including a haemorrhage within the brain, a swelling of the right frontal lobe, a fracture of the temporal bone, splenic lacerations and pulmonary contusions.
Emergency services arrived at the scene and managed to stabilise his condition, inducing a coma and taking him by air ambulance to the Emergency Department of the John Ratcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
As a result of his injuries, he was left with extensive care and rehabilitation needs.
How We Helped
The rider of the scooter wanted to claim compensation from the driver of the car, and got in touch with our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors for a free consultation and legal advice.
Due to the nature of his injuries, Matthew Clayton, a Serious Injury Solicitor in our Manchester office, agreed to take on the case on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Matthew and his team brought in an independent case manager to assess how much and what kind of support therapy and treatment our client would need. He also instructed a Road Traffic Technical Investigator to set out the relative speed of both vehicles, the distance travelled and the cause of the accident.
After some confusion caused by the Local Authority over the orders handed down by them about who was entitled to use the bus lane, it was confirmed there had been a period when scooters and motorcycles had been allowed to use the lane.
However, it transpired this wasn’t at the time of this accident, so a compromise on liability (fault) was agreed and approved by the Court at 50-50, with the fault for the accident being evenly split between both parties.
Meanwhile, there was a dispute over the extent of our client’s injuries, as the insurer had seemingly viewed the case as relatively minor at first. As a result, they refused to grant an Interim Payment to help our client access the extensive support therapy and treatment that had been recommended by the case manager.
However, we were successful in obtaining the order, so the insurer paid the interim funds we had requested.
A support worker was brought in and a trial of independent living started, along with therapy from a multi-disciplinary team including a physiotherapist, neuropsychologist, occupational therapist and neuropsychiatrist.
The car driver’s insurers also sought to argue that our client’s problems were due in the main to pre-accident ADHD, which it was admitted he had problems with before the accident when he was younger.
However, Matthew obtained witness statements from his family and friends, which showed there were crucial changes in his behaviour and character which were consistent with his traumatic brain injury. Matthew also demonstrated that in fact, his ADHD had been kept under control due to medication he was prescribed before the accident, and that he now had different issues than those one associates with the condition.
Matthew argued that in any event, our client had suffered a traumatic brain injury, which when added to a pre-existing condition, meant that he struggled even more to deal with life than if he hadn’t had ADHD.
The car driver’s insurers made a very low compensation offer which was rejected and eventually, once medical evidence and evidence from experts in care, occupational therapy and Deputyship costs was exchanged, the car driver’s insurer capitulated and agreed to settle the claim on a £2.5 million compensation on a full liability basis.
This meant that rather than sharing the fault equally as originally agreed, the car driver’s insurers accepted full responsibility, which meant the amount of the compensation settlement would reflect that.
The settlement was formally approved by the High Court in London in one of the very first Approval Hearings conducted by Skype, which was necessary due to the Covid-19 restrictions at the time the case was heard.
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