Case handler: Matthew Dixon (Senior Solicitor)
In this case, our client was a front seat passenger, at around 2am, in a vehicle being driven by one of his colleagues (the Defendant) who lost control of the vehicle, hit a kerb, and then collided with an oncoming Mercedes Benz taxi.
As a result of the accident, our client sustained a serious head injury, a traumatic bleed on the brain, fractures to both sides of his jaw, dental injuries with a laceration of his tongue, a fractured nose, a fracture of the left collar bone, a small left sided collapsed lung associated with a bruised lung and a ruptured spleen.
Key elements of our client’s case
Mr W was removed from the vehicle by the fire service and was subsequently taken by ambulance to the local Accident and Emergency Department where he underwent two operations, the first to remove tooth fragments from his tongue and an operation to secure his fractured jaw. He then had a further operation to his fractured pelvis. He was later discharged home to the care of his mother, father and older sister. At the time of his discharge, our client was still having prolonged periods of confusion, was non-weight-bearing on his left leg and was using a wheelchair.
Where our specialist serious injury experience really added value to our client’s situation
Mr W initially instructed a local firm of solicitors to act for him but was dissatisfied with his legal representation and after a recommendation from one of our previous clients and him undertaking research of our services, he instructed Serious Injury Law LLP to take over conduct of his case.
The previous solicitors had sent a letter of claim to the Defendant’s Insurers and obtained medical records and medico-legal reports from a Consultant Maxillo Facial Surgeon, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Neurologist. This expert evidence confirmed that our client had suffered a fractured left clavicle which had settled and fractures to the pelvis which had healed but were still aching. The Orthopaedic Surgeon recommended an x-ray in order to provide a final prognosis. It was confirmed by the Consultant Maxillo Facial Surgeon that our client had sustained a fracture to both sides of his jaw which also involved his wisdom teeth, a tongue laceration, possible nose fracture and fractured crown of upper teeth. The Neurologist reported that our client suffered psychological symptoms as a result of his head injury and was at increased risk of developing epilepsy and recommended a report be obtained from a Neuropsychologist.
Further expert and other evidence were disclosed to the Defendant and offers were received for significantly less than the final award. We arranged for advice from a barrister in order to properly advise our client on the offers made.
We arranged for updated opinions from the medical experts and arranged for our client to be examined by a Neuropsychologist who confirmed that our client had sustained a severe head injury which caused cognitive impairment (trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions ), The medical expert recommended rehabilitation treatment.
Mr W was suffering financially, and Serious Injury Law secured for him an interim payment to assist him financially.
We then obtained updated medical records and the Neuropsychologist was instructed to prepare an updated report.
At the time of the accident, Mr W had completed his first year of a three year degree in physics but due to the accident he deferred the second year. He then started the second year just over a year post accident but withdrew from the course four months later as he was unable to cope because of his injuries. Mr W then obtained employment as a trainee engineer where he continued to work for seven months when he decided to return to university to study a three year degree in engineering. He was therefore due to graduate three years later than he would have done if he hadn’t had the accident.
Due to the approaching expiry of the Limitation Period (the three year deadline for issuing legal proceedings after the accident), we issued Court proceedings to protect our client’s position.
The legal proceedings were then served on the Defendant who filed a Defence and the case progressed in accordance with the directions given by the Court.
We obtained witness evidence and statements from our client’s parents who had provided care for him when he was discharged from hospital. We also arranged for the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to prepare an updated report.
The Defendant put forward an increased six figure settlement offer, which, after consulting with our barrister was rejected.
Mr W’s case proceeded following the Court’s directions. The updated evidence from the Neuropsychologist and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon were disclosed and a significantly increased offer was secured from the Defendants. We advised our client to reject this offer and to make a counter proposal in an increased six figure sum to bring an end to the matter. The counter proposal was accepted by the Defendant and the court proceedings were brought to an end by mutual consent and the significant settlement payment was received and sent to the client to conclude his case.