‘Miss H’ – Representing a client for the second time

Case handler: Christopher Lecky (Solicitor and Senior Associate)

We had represented Miss H in relation to minor injuries suffered in a road traffic accident a number of years ago. Unfortunately Miss H was involved in a further, much more serious, accident in which she suffered an extensive range of traumatic brain injuries and complex orthopaedic injuries.  Miss H contacted us immediately based on the level of service received on her prior instruction.

Miss H was a pedestrian hit by a car, she and her mother crossed the first lane of a two lane carriageway and stopped on a pedestrian island. To their left was a complex road junction involving a double mini roundabout and numerous feeder roads. Miss H’s mother, and an independent witness reported that a car then stopped and waved them to cross the road. As Miss H started to cross, another vehicle came from her right-side and collided with her causing catastrophic injury.

The complexities in Miss H’s case were numerous, she was a refugee who spoke little English and was already a pre-existing wheelchair user due to a brittle bone disease condition. Miss H significant care needs pre-accident which had to be taken into consideration.

Despite pre-existing conditions witness evidence supported that she was independent in accessing the community, visiting local shops and helping her mother to navigate the bus routes around her home town. Prior to the accident Miss H was also described as very chatty and sociable and enjoyed attending community events. Prior to the accident Miss H was working hard to learn English and attended up to four classes a week.

Features of our client’s case:

Miss H’s resilience was unquestionably fostered in her early years in a refugee camp when she had no access to any equipment or medical help. Miss H had developed an ability to crawl around to mobilise and she continued to use this skill in her home environment.

Following the traumatic accident Miss H’s presentation was in marked contrast. Miss H was prone to episodes of confusion and would often not recognise close friends or be able to respond to direct questioning.

Our solicitor, Chris Lecky, had unique insight into the case having dealt with our client’s first accident and therefore had met her both before and after her brain injury.

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

Liability was contested throughout. A split trial was listed, it was anticipated that Miss H’s case would succeed but a finding of contributory negligence was almost inevitable, possibly up to 30%.

A Joint Settlement Meeting (JSM) with the Defendant resulted in a costs inclusive offer of seven figures to settle the case. After careful consideration this was rejected and the decision was made to proceed to trial.

The settlement:

In the lead up to trial, the Defendant made a number of increased offers to settle Miss H’s claim which were rejected. Ultimately an improved seven figure offer was made which was deemed acceptable, Miss H’s claim settled a week prior to trial. 

It is worth noting that the first offer in this case was approximately eight times less than the final agreed settlement and therefore it is clear that continuing to fight this case until almost the day of trial was the correct decision.

If you or someone you know has sustained a serious injury and would like to speak to a serious injury specialist, please contact us today.

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