‘Luke’ – Motorcycle junction collision

Case handler: Gillian Lakes (Senior Solicitor)

In this case, our client was riding a motorcycle when the Defendant, driving an oncoming vehicle, turned into a junction and collided with our client.

The Defendant was convicted of driving without due care and attention and liability was conceded.

During the course of the accident our client was struck with considerable force by the Defendant’s van. He was knocked from his motorcycle onto the road and sustained significant orthopaedic injuries including:

  • Multiple fractures to both lower limbs;
  • Spinal fracture;
  • Facial injuries including nasal fracture and deviation and soft tissue injuries where skin grafts were required.

Key elements of our client’s case

Our client received urgent medical treatment at the accident scene before being taken to the A&E Department. He was transferred to intensive care where he remained for 5 days. He underwent numerous surgical procedures when there and was then transferred to another hospital for plastic surgical input. A Hoffman fixator (a temporary external fixation) was placed on the right leg to assist in healing of the fractures. The left knee was placed in a brace.

As a result of his injuries, our client experienced significant pain, discomfort and reduced mobility. He was unable to mobilise and was forced to use a wheelchair. He continued to experience severe and chronic pain affecting the left knee, left foot and low back and required high levels of pain killing medication. Whilst our client had experienced some disability prior to the accident relating to pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis, he was able to live a reasonable quality of life. As a result of the significant orthopaedic injuries sustained in this accident, he is now considerably disabled. Despite surgical intervention he has been left with a 5cm shortening of his left leg and is forced to use a boot to stabilise the ankle and fracture.

Our client also suffered significant soft tissue injury affecting the lower limbs. He experienced soft tissue damage at the time of the accident as well as from multiple cleaning out of the wounds, placement of the external fixator and significant plastic surgery (he required skin grafts). He experienced repeated infections and underwent multiple VAC dressings – a method of decreasing air pressure around a wound to assist the healing. He has been left with significant scarring to the lower limbs. The plastic surgery evidence suggests that “he has been very fortunate to have preserved his leg”, although he has been left with a significant reduction in his ability to perform day to day activities. The scarring will remain permanently and continues to have an effect on our client’s mobility.

In summary, our client has been left with significant reduction in mobility as a result of the injuries. He is unable to walk distances without walking aids and he requires a mobility scooter/wheelchair on a daily basis. He is limited in his ability to use stairs and will be confined to single storey accommodation. He has a continued need for care and support as a result of the injuries sustained.

In addition to the physical injuries, our client has been left with ongoing cognitive dysfunction and behavioural change. He has difficulties with short term memory and forgets commitments. He requires reminders and prompting. Difficulties with his memory can trigger frustration and mood swings. He suffers considerable low mood. The medico-legal evidence recommended an assessment by a Neuropsychologist to establish whether the ongoing symptoms could be related to organic injury or ongoing psychological injury.

Where our specialist serious injury experience really added value to our client’s situation

As serious injury specialists with a team of very experienced qualified solicitors, we know how to help a client with severe injuries navigate through the litigation process.

Due to complex nature of our client’s injuries, expert evidence was sought and disclosed in the disciplines of Orthopaedics, Foot & Ankle surgery, Vascular, Ophthalmic, Plastics, Psychology and Accommodation.

Pulling together the evidence to prove the level of our client’s ongoing restricted lifestyle caused by his injuries is a vital process to ensure that he is compensated appropriately for his injuries and the impact these will have on his life after settlement of his claim occurs.

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

There are many law firms who suggest that they have serious injury experience but very few who can give dozens of examples of cases they have settled where their client recovered hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in compensation.

This track record gives any prospective client the peace of mind that if they engage us to handle their claim, we will leave no stone unturned to prove negligence on the part of the other party and bring together a body of evidence from some of the UK’s best medical experts to illustrate the extent to which our client has suffered and will suffer in the future and the consequential financial impact this has had on their life.

It is this accomplished approach to handling personal injury litigation that gives our client’s the confidence to trust our opinion and to reject spurious offers made in respect of their claim as detailed below.

Reaching settement

A time limited offer was put forward by the Defendants as a result of which we arranged a meeting with our client and a barrister to discuss the merits of the offer. The barrister advised that the offer was far too low and being conservative valued our client’s case over £130k higher than the offer made based on the evidence at that time and could be worth more if further evidence was obtained. The Defendants then formalised this offer for the same sum which was rejected.

Legal proceedings were then issued and the matter was listed for an early hearing for the court to identify and understand what the real issues in dispute were and to consider whether they could be narrowed before trial.

The Defendants then put forward two offers of settlement. The first being a time limited offer of open for acceptance for 16 days and then a further formalised offer the same day for a lesser sum.

Following a meeting with the barrister the time limited offer for a six figure sum was accepted and the case brought to a conclusion.

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