‘Patrick’ – Pedestrian struck from behind by a car.

Case handler: Matthew Dixon (Senior Solicitor)

In this case, our client was a pedestrian walking along a road, when he was struck from behind by a car which was being driven by the Defendant. The car’s wheel drove over his left ankle, trapping it. The Defendant then turned the wheel of the vehicle away from him which released his foot resulting in him falling heavily to the ground, and with him breaking his fall by putting out his right arm.

As a result of the accident, he suffered a fractured right elbow, a fracture to his right dominant arm and a fracture to his left ankle.

Key elements of our client’s case

Immediately after the accident, our client attended the local A & E Department where he was placed in a sling for his right arm and a plaster back slab for his left elbow. He underwent a CT scan of his left ankle and was transferred to another hospital where he underwent surgery on his left ankle fracture. He was subsequently discharged from hospital in a below knee plaster cast. As a result of the accident, he then developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The initial medical evidence obtained suggested that the metalwork in his leg could be left in situ and on balance noting the satisfactory reduction and his age, he would not suffer with osteoarthritis in the long-term. It was confirmed that he had suffered with significant depression since the accident and that as this was outside the expert’s field of expertise, but it was recommended a report be obtained from a Clinical Psychologist, as his depression was preventing him from completing his studies and returning to work and he attributed a significant part of his depression as being related to the accident and his immobility. In light of the recommendations made, arrangements were made for him to be medically examined by a Consultant Psychologist who formally diagnosed him to be suffering with PTSD.

Where we added value as serious injury specialists

At the time of the accident, the Claimant was studying to become a financial adviser, and it was his contention that he would have obtained employment as a financial adviser earning a significant salary.

As a result of the failure by the Defendant to make reasonable offers to settle our client’s claim, and to protect his position, Court proceedings were issued.

Liability for the accident was disputed by the Defendant who alleged that various statements contained within the police report indicated that our client was on his telephone, not concentrating and was at fault for the accident as he stepped out in front of the Defendant’s car. After hard fought negotiations, liability was agreed on an 80/20 basis in our client’s favour. This meant that he was guaranteed 80% of the full value of his claim.

Despite the ongoing dispute, we secured the Claimant medical treatment for his psychological injuries with the Defendant paying for him to have EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing psychotherapy).

Our client’s case was listed for a trial to determine the amount he would recover in compensation.

Reaching settlement

The Defendant proposed a Joint Settlement Meeting that took place. However, their conduct was obstructive and their best offer on the day was for our client to accept a low offer made by them the previous year. Unfortunately, settlement could not be achieved in the circumstances based on that offer.

Whilst considering the Defendant’s further offers, our client, whose psychological condition was much improved by the treatment we had secured, received an offer of employment thus reducing the amount of his future losses. This then allowed us to return to the Defendant and we successfully negotiated a much-improved financial settlement for a significant five figure sum.

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