Man Gets Life Back On Track After Injuring Brain and Spine In Motorway Pile Up

Irwin Mitchell Help Dad-of-Four Move Into Specially Adapted New Home

26.10.2012

An amateur football league committee member who suffered head and spine injuries in a motorway car crash is now getting his life back on track as he gets set to move into a new adapted home.

Frank Clayton, from Accrington, Lancashire, was waiting in stationary traffic during road works on the M6 in April 2009 when an overloaded car transporter failed to slow down and slammed into the rear of the queue causing a car to be flipped onto the roof of Frank’s vehicle.

The 65-year-old step-father to four children was severely injured as a result of the crash, suffering a brain injury, serious injuries to his jaw and face, a spinal fracture, as well as injuries to his chest, arms and legs.

Frank instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who helped secure the vital rehabilitation and care he needed to help his recovery as part of a substantial settlement. This will allow him to fund care support, rehabilitation and therapies as well as moving to a new, more suitable home.

Frank and his wife Agnes said today that they were ‘delighted’ at being able to now purchase an adapted bungalow in order to ensure that he can live as independently as possible.

Frank still suffers from weakness in his arms, increased tiredness, lack of feeling in his right foot due to sciatic nerve damage and difficulties with speech and eating – but he is fully committed to moving on with his life.

Bethany Sanders, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who represented him, said: “Frank is remarkable in his resolve to get his life back on track. Our main concern right from the start has been to help him achieve as much independence as possible so that he and his wife can enjoy their well earned retirement.

“The most important thing when helping people with brain and spinal injuries is to get specialist rehabilitation and support as soon as possible, as this can make a significant difference to their recovery.”

While Frank was still undergoing treatment in hospital, Irwin Mitchell appointed an expert case manager to identify the most pressing issues in terms of rehabilitation need and support for Frank and his family.

While a full settlement was being agreed, Irwin Mitchell secured Frank a series of interim payments from the insurers of the car transporter which helped Frank get access to physiotherapists to help with his physical recovery.

The full settlement that has now been agreed will pay for specialist equipment to help him around the home, dental treatment, private surgery, speech and language therapy and an adapted vehicle and driving lessons which will give him much more independence.

Bethany added: “Frank was so incredibly motivated to engage in the rehabilitation process and he described the therapy ‘as though it were his new job’. It’s fantastic to see him now getting out into the community more and getting his life back on track.”

Frank can now walk, but still relies on a stick for stability. He is now able to go walking with his wife Agnes and their dog, which was something that he greatly missed in the early days following his accident.

He has had to retire from his job as an operator at a foam manufacturer where he had worked for 12 years. For many months after the accident he was also unable to attend the Football League Committee meetings which he had attended for some 13 years.

Frank said: “One of my major goals throughout the rehabilitation process was to get back to attending local football league committee meetings, as well as going to the matches.  It has been a huge boost to be able to do these things again, as they were such a large part of my life.

“We’ve also been able to go to some concerts, which I never thought we would be able to do again. The case manager has even helped us book a holiday with specialist providers who offer disabled facilities.

“Considering I didn’t even have the strength to get off my bed in the hospital after the accident, I am now confident living with my disabilities to try and tackle everyday household jobs.

“Life will never be as it was before the crash, but I do what I can and the positive attitude of my legal team at Irwin Mitchell has certainly helped me along the way. I can’t wait to get into our newly adapted bungalow and feel that the rehabilitation has given me a new lease of life.”

The driver of the car transporter responsible for the crash was convicted of dangerous driving and interfering with his tachograph.  He was sentenced to 12 months in prison and was handed a five-year driving ban.