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No Win No Fee solicitors
Serious injury experts

'Victoria' - Motorway motorcycle accident

Case handler(s): Richard Crabtree (Senior Solicitor) assisted by Rebecca Hilton (Solicitor) and Donna Green (Para-legal)

In this case, our client suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident causing severe and complex physical, cognitive and behavioural impairments. She requires 24/7 care and assistance for the rest of her life because of the injuries sustained.

Our client was riding as a pillion passenger on a motorbike ridden by the defendant in the middle lane of the M5 when, , when an item of luggage, thought to be secured, became entangled in the rear wheel of the motorbike. The motorbike locked up and the claimant was thrown from it onto the roadway.

Our client sustained severe brain damage and was barely responsive for 2 months post-accident.

In addition to her head injury, our client suffered damage to her lungs, a liver laceration, fractures to her right forearm, a displaced fracture to her right elbow, a left metacarpal dislocation, a left thumb fracture, a right knee injury, extensive bruising to her skin and right third nerve palsy (a condition affecting the eyelid). Our client was left with an impaired ability to understand or speak, unable to mobilise independently and is doubly incontinent.

Key elements of our client's case

Whilst liability for the accident was admitted in full, the Defendants opposed a move to independent living maintaining that her care needs were best met by a continued stay in a care home, with additional therapies.

We were therefore issued legal proceedings and made an application for an interim payment to fund care in the community where she could live with her son and wider family.

The hearing was opposed by the defendants who made no offer.

We were successful and secured an Order for an interim payment for £250,000.00.

Due to the mental capacity issues, she is supported by Mr Tim Walters, a Professional Deputy , who heads the Court of Protection team at Serious Law LLP.

Working within the same firm streamlined communication between the Litigation team and the Court of Protection team.

As a result of securing the initial interim payment, and further payments with the agreement of the defendants, we were able to source a rental property and undertake adaptations to allow our client to live independently and be able to live with her young son and watch him grow up

Where we added value to our client as a serious injury specialist

Serious Law's Richard Crabtree quickly established a rapport with the Defendant solicitors and notwithstanding early issues regarding our client's future placement, was able to facilitate an agreement to obtain additional funding to rent and adapt a property to allow a trial of independent living.

As leaders in our field, we have excellent relationships with Defendant solicitors and Insurers, which enabled us to secure the assistance that our seriously injured client desperately needed.

This case involved managing a complex family dynamic involving our client's young son who lived with his grandmother and a very anxious client who we guided and supported through the legal process.

Why Serious Law was one of a select handful of firms uniquely able to handle the matter

This case illustrates the need for a true serious injury specialist and the related emphasis that we place on rebuilding lives. There are very few firms with the necessary expertise to appreciate and address the complex array of needs that clients with severe brain injuries have.

Our client had multiple issues arising from her brain injury and therefore it was important that our legal team assembled a very experienced and pragmatic team of professionals to support our client's understanding of the vital important of early intervention and rehabilitation to maximise her recovery. Richard put in place:

  • A specialist brain injury case manager;
  • A neuropsychologist;
  • An occupational therapist;
  • A physiotherapist;
  • A speech and language therapist;
  • A dietician;
  • A music therapist.

Richard was able to do this as a vastly experienced brain injury specialist, currently Chair of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers' brain injury specialist group, and former Secretary of the Child Brain Injury Trust Group at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Reaching settlement

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 and the challenges of co-ordinating a Joint Settlement Meeting involving several representatives from both sides, the parties agreed a way to go ahead which resulted in an agreed seven figure settlement.