Case Study - Multiple Injuries as a Passenger in an Accident

Miss H was awarded £100,000                                              

The case: 

Miss H was a passenger in her boyfriend’s car.  She was injured when his car collided head first with another car, suffering multiple injuries. 

She sustained fractures to both femurs, her cheekbone, her nose, multiple fractures to her ribs, damage to her breast, a laceration to her spleen and her liver, scarring to her chest, both knees, both thighs, across her right eyebrow and psychological injuries.  Miss H decided to make a claim via YouClaim, who put her in touch with JMW Solicitors where Jean Warde, Senior Associate, handled her claim. 

The claim:

Neither Miss H nor her boyfriend could clearly recall the accident circumstances, so Jean asked Miss H’s boyfriend’s insurer for any further information they had of the accident.  The insurer believed that Miss H’s boyfriend was responsible for the accident and agreed to fund a care assessment to aid Miss H’s recovery. 

The assessor suggested that Miss H was having some psychological problems and that the level of physiotherapy she was currently receiving was not good enough, so they agreed to provide private physiotherapy. 

First medical assessments:

Jean got copies of Miss H’s medical records and made appointments with independent medical experts who could assess her injuries, provide a prognosis on her recovery and how her injuries may affect her in the future including a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, a Clinical Psychologist, a General Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon. 

Miss H’s appointment with the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon highlighted that she would achieve a maximum level of recovery with regards to her broken femurs and ribs in 10 months, and recommended that she see a Maxillo-Facial Surgeon regarding her cheekbone injury. 

Early offer:

As the criminal proceedings were resolved against Miss H’s boyfriend the insurers agreed to deal with this case on a “Without prejudice basis” which means they would settle the claim on a 100% basis but without formally accepting liability.  In turn the insurers made an offer of £50,000 to the client in an attempt at that stage to dispose of the case.  However, as the medical evidence was not complete at that stage this offer could not be considered.  After advising Miss H on this, she rejected the offer. 

Further medical evidence:

Miss H had further medical assessments.  On the recommendation of the Maxillo-Facial Surgeon, she underwent surgery to remove metalwork that had been placed in her cheek after the accident and received advice from the medical expert assessing her breast injury to undergo an ultrasound, which showed that nothing was amiss. 

The medical reports from experts regarding Miss H’s breast, facial and psychological injuries were sent to the defendant’s insurer, who provided us with an interim payment for Miss H’s ultrasound. 

A Plastic Surgeon, who provided a report regarding Miss H’s scarring, highlighted several scars where surgical intervention would reduce their visibility.  Miss H decided not to undergo plastic surgery, but consider it for the future.  Results from a follow up appointment with the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon suggested Miss H attend four further physiotherapy sessions and see a psychiatrist again. 

With medical evidence in place, Miss H was happy to proceed with settling her case. 

Approaching case settlement:

Jean carefully considered Miss H’s loss of earnings claim.  Miss H was a young woman at the start of her career; she was beginning to train in photography, but couldn’t pursue this career after the accident.  She spent months out of work after the accident, and had only been able to return to work part-time. 

Jean put together a Schedule of Loss - a document outlining all the financial losses Miss H had or was likely to experience, allowing for all possibilities with her career.

Miss H’s claim was nearing the three year period where claims must either be settled amicably or Court proceedings commenced.  Jean was getting the case ready for Court proceedings, but the insurer approached her to see if we could try and negotiate a settlement. 

Final settlement:

Negotiations commenced with the insurer, and after much hard work, Jean managed to secure a gross settlement of £103,620 (£100,000 net).  This settlement was a substantial increase on the initial offer and was above the original valuation of the claim. 

Miss H was delighted with this and happily accepted it.  Thanks to Jean’s tenacity on the case, this YouClaim client was able to receive a substantial sum which will ensure she is able to pursue an alternative career.


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