‘Alistair’ – Hit by a taxi whilst riding a motorcycle

Case handler: Ben Priestley (Partner)

In this case, our client was riding his motorbike when hit by a taxi. 

The injuries sustained were:

  • Amputation of right leg below the knee;
  • Multiple rib fractures;
  • Spleen laceration;
  • Fractured vertebrae in the thoracic spine;
  • Right segmental femoral shaft fracture;
  • Right segmental tibia & fibular fracture with associated total articular pilon fracture;
  • Right calcaneal fracture with fractures to 2/3 metatarsal and a vascular injury proximally.

Features of our client’s case

At the time of the accident, our client was living alone, unemployed and in receipt of benefits. Within two weeks of our instruction, we managed to obtain funding for a private rehabilitation Case Manager to meet our client to undertake an Immediate Needs Assessment to assess his needs. Numerous recommendations were made and funded by the Defendants despite liability not being admitted at that time. It is worth noting that liability was only formally admitted 15 months post-accident but this did not prevent us providing our client with access to rehabilitation and support.

At the time of the accident, our client lived in a 2 bedroom flat which wouldn’t accommodate his wheelchair. This meant that he couldn’t return home from hospital. Our client received support from Citizens Advice and the Case Manager instructed by us. Our client was rehoused closer to his family, after the case manager visited various properties with our client to assess suitability.

A new property was identified, a small bungalow, but adaptations were necessary. We arranged for a private Occupational Therapist to review the property and prepare a report setting out how the property could be made more suitable. There was liaison with the Housing Association and contractors to facilitate adaptation. The Housing Association were persuaded to allow work to be undertaken at the property and we made the following adjustments, paid for by the Defendants:

  • Widened access to kitchen and bedroom;
  • Adaptations in the bathroom (removal of shower screen etc);
  • Ramping system to the front of property;
  • Installation of patio area at rear of property as our client struggled to mobilise on the grassed area;
  • Provision of a secure storage shed for our client’s trike;
  • Non-slip flooring introduced.

We facilitated a series of sessions with a vocational specialist over several months to assist our client with a return to employment. Our client’s work history was explored as was a skills analysis, assessment of his abilities/limitations, CV review along with an assessment of job opportunities locally.

The outcome was that our client was supported in enrolling on an IT engineering college course starting just over 18 months post-accident – the cost of the first year of which was paid by the Defendants.

To give our client greater independence despite his injuries, the case manager organised a taxi account paid for by the Defendants, in addition to undertaking a formal driving assessment where recommendations were made for the provision of an adapted car. In addition, our client had driving lessons arranged as he didn’t have a driving licence.

Where we added value as serious injury specialists

As serious injury specialists, one of our key focuses is always our client’s physical and psychological rehabilitation to give clients the best chance of returning to independence following a life-changing injury. These are the areas where our specialist knowledge, support and collaboration with the Defendants, assisted our client’s recovery:

    • Our client undertook private assessments at a private rehabilitation centre for a prosthetic limb and undertook trials with diagnostic sockets/limbs and was ultimately provided with a bespoke ‘everyday limb’, paid for by the Defendants;
    • Our client undertook a private orthotic assessment and provision of functional foot orthosis, to improve feedback from the ground and improve stability;
    • Our client was provided with 20 hours of private physiotherapy funded by the Defendant. These were either 1:1 sessions at the clinic or in the community – including a number of sessions walking on uneven/hilly terrain;
    • We managed to obtain funding for vestibular physiotherapy to address our client’s labyrinthitis;
    • Our client was provided with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy both via a therapist close to home and then through the private rehabilitation centre;
    • Many items of equipment/aids were recommended by the therapists involved in our client’s care and paid by the Defendants including:
      • Rise/recline chair for living room;
      • Lightweight, narrower wheelchair;
      • Perching stool.

 

The settlement

A number of interim payments were secured for our client during the life of the case, notwithstanding the absence of an admission of liability for a prolonged period.

The first interim payment of damages for the Claimant was secured 2 weeks after our client instructed us.

The claim settled for a seven figure sum, this being in addition to tens of thousands of pounds of rehabilitation funding secured from the Defendants to assist our client in regaining independence and quality of life.

Testimonial from our client

“I really benefitted from the referral to [the private rehabilitation facility]. The whole package there was excellent and the bespoke limb I got from them seemed to work really well for me.

It was all new to me after the accident and being in the hands of someone experienced is a definite advantage. The service from Serious Injury Law has been 1st class and I know that if I’d tried to find a solicitor myself, I could have got anyone and wouldn’t have known what their experience is”.

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