‘Richard’ – Motorcycle collision

Case handler(s): Ben Priestley (Senior Solicitor) assisted by Christopher Lecky (Solicitor)

Our client was a motorcyclist who was hit by a car and as a result sustained a serious brain injury. The car driver was convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Key elements of our client’s case

Our client sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. Their case required solicitors with an in-depth understanding of the effect these severe injuries can have on both the injured party and the wider family dynamic, as well as an ability to address reluctance to engage in rehabilitation due to the impact of the brain injury. We did this by ensuring that key information was disseminated to those involved in our client’s support and rehabilitation and making sure that nothing was taken at face value.

Whilst the Defendant agreed to engage in the voluntary Rehabilitation Code (which enables both parties to establish the injured party’s rehabilitation needs) there was no formal admission of liability until after conclusion of the criminal case. As a result, the Defendant’s approach elongated liability enquiries and caused unnecessary uncertainty for our client and his family. The circumstances of the accident were such that the Defendant could much more readily have accepted liability and avoided the associated costs and delay.

The rehabilitation case manager we appointed proved very effective and was one of the few individuals from whom our client was willing to accept constructive input. She was able to build a solid relationship with our client and carefully implement support, underpinned by a thorough understanding of his impairments, such that the input was then acceptable to him. Ultimately a support worker was engaged and a structured week of activities was introduced and a success.

Our client’s wife provided significant support. She chose to give up work to care for her husband and was by his side throughout the very difficult transition post-brain injury. This took its toll however and an area of dispute between the parties was the extent of the financial contingency to be built into the settlement for the risk of marital breakdown.

Following a careful assessment of the evidence and meetings with our client’s wife prior to the Joint Settlement Meeting, the risk was ascertained and appropriately factored into the overall settlement.

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

Our representation included:

  • Liaising closely with the case manager and occupational therapist to ensure that our client was receiving all the help and support he required, sometimes in the face of reluctance to accept support;
  • Offering ongoing support to our client’s wife who often struggled to have her voice heard and was our client’s primary carer;
  • Ensuring our client had a structured timetable of suitable activities implemented which provided the necessary routine and offered respite for his wife;
  • Supporting our client’s wife through the complexities of the litigation process and ensuring the purpose of the many expert appointments was always carefully explained;
  • Drawing on established contacts to engage the most experienced and preeminent experts and leading Counsel.

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

This case was uniquely challenging as, pre-injury, it was clear our client was very much the head of the household.

Our client’s wife was, by contrast, more mild-mannered and often reticent. It took many months before she began to find her voice and adjust to the significant reversal of roles.

Our in-depth knowledge of dealing with brain-injured clients and seeing first-hand the effect these severe injuries can have on both the injured party and the wider family dynamic was crucial when approaching our client’s case.

This careful approach ensured that all individuals coming in to contact with our client were able to understand the severity of his brain injury.

Reaching settlement

Our extensive long-standing experience of dealing with serious injury cases assisted significantly in achieving an excellent settlement for our client. This was particularly notable at the first Joint Settlement Meeting when an offer of very significant value could be confidently rejected and our client’s wife appropriately advised.

At the second Joint Settlement Meeting, an improved multi-million pound settlement was negotiated.

This was subsequently approved by the Royal Courts of Justice.

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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