Case study - Multiple Injuries After Road Accident

Mr M received £275,000


The claim:

Mr M was badly injured after the car he was driving collided with a Mercedes coming in the opposite direction, which had swerved to avoid a 4x4 driver who was attempting to overtake the line of traffic Mr M’s car was in. Mr M sustained fractures to his right shoulder, elbow and wrist, his right hip and thigh, and his left knee. He got in touch with YouClaim, and we put him in touch with JMW Solicitors LLP.

Starting the case:

Establishing who was responsible for causing Mr M’s injury was not straightforward; the circumstances of the case meant that several parties could have played a part in the accident. Mr M’s lawyer, Gordon Cartwright, needed the police incident report in order to establish the exact circumstances of the accident.

He spoke with the drivers of the other cars involved, and collected evidence to support Mr M’s claim, including copies of his wage slips and his medical records. Gordon also established that his injuries had forced him to move in with friends, whom he needed to assist him with his care requirements.

The 4x4 driver pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and failure to stop. The 4x4 driver’s insurance company then accepted full responsibility for the accident, meaning the 4x4 driver became the defendant in Mr M’s case.

Gathering medical evidence:

Gordon instructed a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to provide an independent report on Mr M’s injuries. The defendant’s insurer provided funds for an assessment by a Care Expert, to understand what Mr M’s requirements would be. They also made an interim payment to help Mr M with his finances.

The Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon’s report confirmed that Mr M had undergone operations to pin his right thigh, and insert a plate and wires into his right shoulder, some of which were successfully removed later. It also confirmed that he couldn’t raise his arm above shoulder height and that his right knee caused him severe mobility problem as it kept “giving way” on him.

Mr M attempted a phased return to work, although it proved difficult for him; Mr M was a valeter and delivery driver before the accident. After the accident, he was only able to work for a couple of hours. After a short period, he couldn’t cope and had to stop working again. Mr M was not able to carry on in this role, so part of his compensation award needed to reflect his need to completely re-train.

Witness statements:

Gordon took witness statements from Mr M and two of his friends who were driving in the car behind him at the time of his accident. These statements discussed how Mr M struggled to walk, highlighted his care needs during his recovery, and his trouble working.

The Care Expert’s report recommended that she be shown Mr M’s MRI scan, after which she would arrange for a physiotherapy and pain management assessments. She also wanted Mr M to undergo an Occupational Therapy assessment and coordinate a return to work programme. The MRI scan suggested that the weakness in Mr M’s knee was due to muscle weakness, and it would resolve with the correct physiotherapy. The defendant’s insurer made a low offer to settle the case, which Gordon advised Mr M against accepting, which Mr M agreed with.

Recovery:

Mr M started his rehabilitation plan and attended vocational counselling to assist with getting a new career. Meanwhile, Gordon received an assessment report from his physiotherapist which told him that, more than two years after the accident, Mr M still had severe mobility difficulties. It also outlined the sort of treatment he would require to help him recover further.

Court proceedings:

As the date where Mr M’s case must be settled or in the court process was nearing, Gordon issued protective Court proceedings to allow Mr M’s case to continue.

In order to support Mr M’s claim and help him recover, Gordon got an upper limb consultant to examine Mr M. Meanwhile, the defendant’s solicitor made a second offer to settle the case. Gordon felt Mr M had not made enough of a recovery to ensure that a settlement would cover all his medical needs, so he advised Mr M to reject the offer, which Mr M did. The defendant’s solicitor then made an increased offer to settle, which was also rejected.

Final settlement:

The upper limb expert’s report highlighted that Mr M was having significant difficulties with his shoulder. The expert suggested it would be helpful to have Mr M reviewed by a lower limb expert, a pain expert, and a psychiatrist. He also agreed that the combination of the painful shoulder and elbow injuries, the leg injury and Mr M’s difficulties with literacy and numeracy were a “toxic” combination that put him at a severe disadvantage on the open labour market.

Mr M decided to make an offer to the defendant’s solicitor to settle the case, which led to the defendant’s solicitor proposing a settlement meeting to discuss the case. After a lengthy negotiation at the settlement meeting, a figure of £275,000 was agreed by both parties. Mr M was very happy with this settlement figure and pleased to be able to move on after a lengthy case, even though the issues surrounding Mr M’s leg remained unresolved at the time of the settlement.

 

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