How did his injury happen?
Adam was just 25 when the accident happened.
It was early one morning when the year was barely two weeks old. He drove his work van along country roads covered by recent, heavy winter rainfall.
As a conscientious driver, Adam drove with care in the conditions, but became powerless when he struck a long and deep pool of water on the highway.
Unsurprisingly, this caused the vehicle to aquaplane some distance and hit a tree with such ferocity that Adam sustained a devastating injury with permanent consequences: a fractured vertebra causing a lesion of his spinal cord at T5 level.
Quickly onto the scene, the emergency services transferred Adam to the hospital, and his immediate and life-threatening injuries were stabilised in intensive care. A full six months passed until his discharge.
The accident left Adam with paraplegia; a condition that severely reduced function below his chest. Permanently requiring the use of a wheelchair, he also experienced the oft-invisible emotional effects of spinal cord injury: long bouts of anxiety and depression.
After medics addressed his urgent needs, Adam’s parents realised that he needed legal representation to put in place the help to support him for the rest of his life. As happens in so many cases, his mother instructed a local law firm.
Meanwhile, the defendants were to be those responsible for the upkeep of that particular stretch of highway, namely the government. Litigation cases against such elevated institutions are often notoriously complex, not least those that involve serious injury.
It soon became clear that the local law firm were without the necessary skills to act in a serious injury case, and the case halted.
This left Adam in desperate need for suitable accommodation and better assistance.
Adam’s father reassessed the situation, performed thorough research, and found a law firm equipped to handle Adam’s spinal cord injury case: Serious Law.
How we helped Adam
Once contacted, our serious injury lawyers began the efficient case transfer process and, in contrast to his previous law firm, our solicitors acted with the commitment that his case demanded.
We began an exhaustive investigation into his case, which included obtaining expert evidence from a wide range of sources, including the emergency services, occupational therapists, spinal surgeons, engineers, as well as collecting further evidence from nineteen witnesses.
Our investigations revealed that the road was flooded as the result of blockages to underground drains, and the pipes themselves were considerably old and in a partial state of collapse, causing debris and rainfall to build up on the highway.
We investigated whether inspections should have taken place in order to prevent the dangerous conditions and, if so, whether the authorities had actually carried them out. However, the defendants alleged that they complied with their statutory duty under the Highways Act.
This included the installation of flood warning signs prior to Adam’s accident, but it was inconceivable that there would be no mention of them in the police report, yet this was the case.
The defendants made a considerable number of denials and counter-allegations, including an unsuccessful attempt to increase Adam’s contributory negligence value by suggesting that he drove too quickly whilst not wearing a seatbelt.
On several occasions, we attempted to arrange Joint Settlement Meetings with the defendants, but it seemed to us like that they used evasive tactics and become increasingly unreliable on purpose. This was a hard-line approach, and it seemed that as a result, we would be heading for a trial, albeit one where we were confident of Adam’s success.
Then, just three days before the trial, the defendant’s insurers made a U-turn and requested a Joint Settlement Meeting, to which we agreed.
We negotiated a very credible and satisfactory six-figure settlement to support Adam for the remainder of his life—well in excess of the defendant’s initial offer. Following this, we helped to set up Adam’s Personal Injury Trust as a means of securing his damages, providing him with continuous ongoing support and protecting his future.
Adam is an inspirational man who has never allowed the accident to prevent him from achieving all of his goals in life. He is extremely well skilled in restoring cars—something he does simply for fun—whilst he has also recently gone into business with a close friend and, by all accounts, the company is already off to a flier.
But most importantly, Adam is now looking forward to the rest of his life and is house hunting for a suitable place to share with his soon-to-be wife, and we wish them all the best.
Comment from Adam’s mother
“Many, many thanks once again for your friendship, support and advice over the last four years.”
To see how we can help you or someone you care about after a spinal cord injury, please contact us today.