We have very recently settled a claim for a young client, aged 19, who suffered very serious injuries as a result of a road traffic accident more than 2 years ago. We visited our client and the family at hospital shortly after the accident. We visited our client and the family on a number of occasions throughout our conduct of the claim and got to know everybody very well.
Our client was a passenger in a car. The driver lost control and crashed into a tree. Our client sustained a number of injuries, including a severe brain injury, multiple rib fractures, bilateral hip fractures and a shoulder fracture. Our client was unconscious for several weeks following the accident and required brain surgery.
Because of the brain injury, our client experienced speech problems, memory loss, psychiatric symptoms, loss of confidence and mobility issues. The severity of the brain injury was such that our client required further brain surgery a year after the accident.The brain injury and the fractures also caused our client severe difficulties in terms of daily activities, walking, etc.
When our client was discharged from hospital, there was a need for the family to assist with everything-things like helping dress and undress, cook, shower, take out, etc. The brain injury affected our client’s ability to do things alone such as crossing roads, going to the shops, etc. Constant care and supervision was required both in and out of the house.
How Optimal Solicitors helped
We immediately engaged with the driver’s insurers and Solicitors. Over the course of 2 years, interim payments totalling £95,000 were obtained from the driver’s insurers, to aid our client’s recovery. We secured an admission of liability and, knowing that it was vital to arrange prompt treatment and support, invited the driver’s insurers to make payments.
In addition to NHS treatment, in cases such as these, we look to private treatment urgently so as to give our clients the best possible chance of making a full recovery. Such treatment is tailored to a client’s specific needs and the treatment providers engage with the NHS treatment providers so as to ensure consistency in approach.
Because of the nature and extent of our client’s injuries, we arranged physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological help. We arranged for gym membership and the assistance of a support worker. We were anxious to reduce the burden on our client’s family. We know how difficult it can be to take care of a loved one in these circumstances.
Our client required speech and language therapy.
The interim payments were used to fund a taxi account so that whenever our client needed to go to appointments, the family could relax, knowing that our client would be taken wherever necessary and returned home safely.
Our client was unable to return to education for some time.
We arranged for the purchase of a laptop and other equipment for our client’s use at home, so that studies online could be started with a view to eventually returning to college.
Our client was in the first year of A Levels prior to the accident. Because of the brain injury, it was not possible to return to that level of study. We therefore worked with the local authority to assist our client in a return to a different form of education, tailored to our client’s needs, with the hope of eventually returning to full-time studies.
In the meantime, it was also important for us to obtain independent expert medical evidence regarding the full nature and extent of the injuries, any risks of problems in the future, how the injuries might affect studies and employment, whether our client might have needs in the future, etc.
We obtained expert evidence from several medical experts in the fields of orthopaedics (for the fractures), psychiatric (for the psychological/psychiatric symptoms), plastics (for the scarring to our client’s body), neurology and neurospsychology (for the brain injury), care (for our client’s care needs) and vocational rehabilitation (to address how best to help our client with her studies and ultimately, getting a job). We also gave consideration to an expert in assistive technology-aids/equipment that might help our client in terms of making daily life easier through the use of technology. This could include things like special mobile phone apps, easy access controls around the house e.g for opening windows, aids in the bathroom.
Our client made an excellent recovery from the physical injuries with time.
Negotiation Process and Settlement
Our primary concern was the brain injury and how this might affect our client in the future. It was apparent to us that our client’s educational hopes had been affected by the brain injury and therefore, the types of jobs that might be realistic in the future. We had to think about other things-such as the risk of epilepsy.
The driver’s insurers and Solicitors would likewise have appreciated all of these issues. They made an offer to settle the claim in excess of £1.3 million pounds. Taking into account all of our concerns, bearing in mind all of the expert medical evidence, we discussed matters with our client and made a counter-offer.
The claim was settled at just over £1.6 million pounds. This included a claim for the injuries suffered, for the cost of care, for potential loss of earnings in the future. We had to factor in things like the type of jobs that our client might be able to do in the future, how long it might take our client to get a job, how much our client might earn as opposed to what our client might have earned if the accident had never taken place. We also took into account things like our client perhaps wanting to pay for private treatment or private education.
The money was paid into a trust fund to protect our client’s entitlement to welfare benefits. Our client is now in a position where investment advice can be taken with a view to making the most out of the compensation award.
If you or your love one has been injured in non-fault accident our serious injury solicitors are here to support you.