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Jim and Sue had plans. Married and both successful professionals, they had just made their dream move to the countryside and were seeking jobs that would reduce their daily commute into Manchester.
One morning in 2011, Jim took his usual route to work through heavy traffic until he approached a roundabout. He had right of way and started to cross.
He never reached the other side.
An oncoming driver failed to see Jim and, even though both Jim and the car were travelling quite slowly, the impact was enough for the exposed cyclist to sustain very serious injuries.
Jim fractured the base of his skull and had severe frontal lobe damage in his brain. Once in hospital, surgeons removed two large sections of skull to reduce the pressure on Jim’s brain, and they put him into an induced coma.
When Jim came round many days later, he was still in a state of very low consciousness. He breathed using a tracheotomy and he fed through a nasal tube.
For Jim, this was the critical point in the aftermath of a brain injury when no one, not even the neurosurgeons, could predict his future. With Jim in hospital, the couple lost out on their regular income because Sue also put her own career on hold in order to devote her time and attention to her husband.
As time passed, it became increasingly apparent that Jim needed life-long support, so Sue contacted Serious Law.
In one of our first actions, our team of expert solicitors helped appoint Jim's case manager to meet all of his immediate needs. Then, we drew on our considerable experience to ensure that we maximised Jim’s prospects of compensation.
We secured significant interim payments from the defendant’s insurers, which covered Jim's expenses such as care costs and the couple’s loss of income.
Given Jim’s mental and physical impairments, it became clear that their home could not be adapted, so we helped the couple buy a suitable detached bungalow. The bungalow included a multi-purpose activity, exercise and rehabilitation room for Jim, an office for Sue, as well as a room for his carers.
Meanwhile, we enlisted the expertise of some of the best brain injury professionals in the country. We arranged a comprehensive reconstruction of Jim’s collision and employed the services of an expert engineer who undertakes accident reconstruction, as well as assembling a strong supporting cast of witnesses, a helmet use expert and a neurosurgeon.
Owing to the severity of his injuries, we secured a significant settlement award for Jim that took into account the full impact of the accident on his life. As Jim had been cycling without wearing a helmet, he accepted a small portion of the liability (known as contributory negligence), but he still received a seven-figure award, with regular six-figure payments also agreed for the rest of his life.
As Jim’s condition improved, he began to swim with great therapeutic results. However, the couple found getting Jim to and from a local pool difficult, so used some of Jim’s settlement to build a heated indoor pool at home, which helped to improve his recovery.
Jim continues to make great strides in his rehabilitation following his brain injury. Jim and Sue still live in their adapted bungalow with round the clock care on hand.
Jim and Sue have come a long way since we met and we are glad to have played a part in allowing them to face the future with confidence.
Find out how the serious injury specialists at Serious Law can help you after a brain injury. Please contact us today.
A few of the personal facts in this case have been changed to preserve the anonymity of our client.