Man Paralysed By Speeding Driver Wins Battle For Justice And Care For Life

Expert Lawyers Secure Settlement Allowing Seriously Injured Man To Return Home

19.03.2012

The family of a man left severely brain damaged and confined to a wheelchair after he was knocked down by a speeding driver have spoken of their relief after winning their legal battle for a lifelong package of 24-hour care and vital rehabilitation that will see him able to move back home.

Gavin Lawson, now 43, from Wembley, was knocked down when he was crossing Forty Lane near his home by a speeding driver travelling between 45 to 50mph in a 30mph zone, nearly five years ago to the day on 23 March 2007.

Gavin spent a year receiving treatment at the Royal London Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital and Robertson House at Willesden Community Hospital after suffering severe bleeding to the brain, a fractured spine, ribs and pelvis, and numerous broken bones, and was then moved to a nursing home needing 24 hour care due to being unable to feed himself, having limited speech, and very limited movement.

Mayuk Modessa, was convicted of speeding at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on 4 January 2008, receiving a £90 fine, three penalty points and £70 in court fees.

Gavin’s family were appalled by the sentence and were told it was unlikely he would ever make any improvement but contacted serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell, who have now helped to ensure that Gavin will get access to the specialist rehabilitation and support he desperately needs.

An interim payment secured by lawyers last year was used to pay for support and treatment that has seen Gavin already make a significant improvement.  At the High Court in London today (19th March) His Honour Patrick Curran QC approved a multi-million pound settlement with the driver’s insurance company, based on the complex nature of Gavin’s injuries.

It will see Gavin receive a lump sum of £1.8m to provide him with the specialist care and necessary adaptations to allow him to move back home with his family. He will also receive £180,000 per year for the rest of his life which has been specifically awarded to pay for the carers Gavin will need.

Colin Ettinger, a partner and serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office is representing the family. He said: “This is a horrendous case that due to the complex issues surrounding Gavin’s injuries has taken some time to resolve.

“Gavin is cared for in a nursing home but his family, social worker and the staff at the home agree that Gavin would be better cared for in his own adapted accommodation, with specialist carers, with a Case Manager to supervise the therapies and other treatment that he needs.

“The settlement agreed today means Gavin can now move into his own home to live with his dedicated brother and mum and ensures he will have all the support he needs as well as specialist therapists to help him achieve the best quality of life possible.”

Gavin’s Brother, Scott Lawson, said: “Nothing will ever bring back the life Gavin had before this terrible accident but it is a huge relief knowing he will receive the best possible care for the rest of his life.

 “When the driver got away with nothing more than a fine and some points on his licence, we were appalled as he was able to drive again but Gavin’s life was changed forever. It was no justice. Before the accident Gavin was a very caring man, caring for his mum and working in a nearby warehouse to provide for her. We’re pleased that now, with the necessary support, we can return the favour and see him get the care he needs.

“Initially Gavin made no progress from his brain injury because the nursing home couldn’t give him the specialist therapy he needed.

“ Once liability had been settled, Irwin Mitchell could arrange funds for Gavin’s care and rehabilitation which meant he was appointed a specialist support worker, dedicated physiotherapist and occupational therapist.

“He’s made huge improvements since then and occasionally shows signs of the old Gavin. He’s now aware of what’s going on around him and can participate in a range of activities.

“He can communicate his likes and dislikes, and enjoyed his time with his support worker.  For instance, she takes him to a day centre once a week where he watches films and enjoys art and dance. We never thought we’d see him improve this far and hope once he is in his own home he’ll improve even further.”