How did her accident happen?
When Alex was just 15, she sat in the rear seat of a friend’s car. As there had been some recent heavy rainfall, the road conditions were wet and slippery.
Spurred on by the loud music playing, the inexperienced driver began to drive faster and faster.
The car hit a pool of water and the driver lost control. The car aquaplaned, spun off the highway, and collided with trees before flipping onto its roof.
The severity of the impact knocked Alex unconscious. When she came round, she couldn’t move. She was paralysed.
The emergency services transferred Alex from the scene of the incident to the local A&E, until they later sent her to a specialist spinal injury unit.
Once stabilised, the medical staff confirmed that the crash had fractured her neck and caused C6 tetraplegia, leaving Alex with no sensation below the chest area, no functionality in her left arm and very little movement in her right arm.
Meanwhile, one of Alex’s relatives understood the impact that a serious injury would have on the whole family’s lives.
He’d known someone with a serious medical condition, so was aware of the need for Alex and her family to consider such post-injury requirements as rehabilitation and adaptations.
He knew that Alex required the experience and expertise of a specialist law firm, so whilst the family were dealing with Alex’s devastating accident, he contacted Serious Law.
How we helped Alex
Whilst Alex was still in hospital, Serious Law’s solicitors met with her family to confirm the strength of the case, as well outlining the help that we would provide.
They appointed us as Alex’s lawyers and, because she was under the age of 18, Alex’s mother acted as her representative in a role known as a ‘litigation friend’.
The defendant’s insurers admitted that the driver held full liability for the accident, acknowledging that Alex wore her seatbelt at the time meaning that there could be no contributory negligence.
As a result, our lawyers could then focus on securing the best possible rehabilitation and the required level of compensation to support Alex for the rest of her life.
We assisted in setting up Alex’s Personal Injury Trust and secured interim payments to cover the family’s considerable travel expenses when commuting to and from the spinal unit, as well as for many of Alex’s immediate requirements.
To identify these needs, our lawyers thoroughly assessed all aspects of Alex’s life, from analysing the extent of her injuries via medical reports to the suitability of the family home and her school, as well as considering whether summer tutoring was required.
We appointed a case manager with great experience of spinal cord injury cases. They worked closely with our lawyers to provide Alex with the best possible support, using interim funding from the case to appoint a highly qualified, private care team.
Our lawyers and the case manager put into place Alex’s private physiotherapy, occupational therapy and housing adaptation requirements, whilst injury-specific purchases included custom-built wheelchairs with accessories and an adapted car.
Meanwhile, Alex built up a strong personal relationship with her private carers and, with their support, an early return to school became possible.
With input from our lawyers, Alex’s case manager and occupational therapists, a skilled team installed adaptations to the school ready for her return.
As the case progressed, it became clear that the family home could not be adapted to accommodate Alex’s new situation, so we assisted with the purchase of a new home complete with adaptations.
Finally, our lawyers concluded Alex’s claim by securing a multi-million pound settlement to cover her injury compensation and future loss of earnings, plus her care needs, accommodation, adaptations and insurance costs.
The most striking thing about Alex today is her infectious enthusiasm and ‘seize the day’ attitude.
Her motto is to be positive; a mental strength she maintains through meditation. Furthermore, ongoing expert physiotherapy helps her to be as healthy and strong as she can be.
Alex regularly takes part in fundraising and is currently devising an expansive road safety campaign. She’s involved with an online charity platform where young people can spread awareness about any of the issues that may affect them, and she runs several websites to promote the benefits of a positive mental attitude.
Like another of our clients, Alex recently had the opportunity to spend a day using a battery-powered ‘bionic suit’ (or exoskeleton). This device gives those with an SCI the gift of being able to walk.
Using this unit, Alex made an incredible 645 steps and admitted, “The best part was being able to give my mum and boyfriend a hug whilst standing up”.
Not only that, but somewhere in between all of this Alex even manages to find the time to run an online vintage clothing boutique which, like herself, goes from strength to strength.
To find out how we can help you or someone you care for after a spinal cord injury, please contact us today.