Man Left Paralysed Looks To The Future After Lawyers Secure Lifetime Care Package

Seven-figure Settlement Allows ‘Lucky To Be Alive’ Man To Move Into His Own Home

31.03.2014

A 24-year-old man who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road traffic collision, leaving him needing the use of a wheelchair, has spoken of his relief after expert injury lawyers secured him a lifetime care and rehabilitation package that will allow him to live alone for the first time.

Matthew Chaffe, from Indian Queens in Cornwall, is paralysed from the chest down and classed as tetraplegic - meaning he is unable to move his legs and has restricted movement in his arms - after suffering severe spinal injuries and a head injury in the collision on 19 May 2011 when he was a passenger in a car which overturned near Quintrell Downs.

The former builder instructed serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to help him gain access to the lifetime of care, rehabilitation, specialist equipment and accommodation he now needs and is speaking out for the first time after lawyers at the firm secured him a seven-figure settlement from the motorist’s insurers.

This settlement will give him the independence he deserves by funding a new specially adapted wheelchair accessible home for Matthew, which he will move in to in the next few months with help from carers, rather than him relying on his parents to help with all aspects of his care.

Deborah Rose, is a specialist serious injury lawyer from Irwin Mitchell’s South West office.

Expert Opinion
Matthew suffered devastating, life-changing injuries in the collision that have left him needing 24-hour care and unable to continue with his job in the construction industry.

“It has understandably been frustrating for Matthew as a man in his 20s to remain living with his parents and he has been relying on them for every aspect of his care such as cooking, cleaning and getting dressed.

“The settlement we have secured will allow him to regain some independence and have a house of his own that is suitable for his wheelchair and with room for live-in carers to assist.

“We hope the end of the legal case allows Matt to begin looking to the future and gives him peace of mind that he has some quality of life back. Matt has shown extreme strength of character in the way he has dealt with his injury and we wish him all success for his new found abilities in wheelchair rugby”
Deborah Rose, Associate

Matthew was taken to Derriford Hospital following the collision before being moved to a specialist spinal cord unit at Salisbury Hospital where he spent seven months before being moved to a nursing home in St Austell to help with his rehabilitation.

He was finally discharged home but had to live in the family’s converted garage as the house was not wheelchair accessible.

Matthew, who hopes to one day pursue a career in project management within the construction industry, said: “The last three years have been incredibly difficult as I have struggled to adapt to life in a wheelchair and without the use of my lower body. I will never forget being told that I would never walk again, but I have to remind myself that I am lucky to be alive.

“My parents have been fantastic in caring for me and encouraging my recovery but it simply wasn’t sustainable or practical to live in the garage permanently.

“Nothing can turn back the clock, but the settlement means I can finally look to the future and plan a life of my own rather than relying on my family for constant support.

“I am looking forward to moving into my own home where I can continue my rehabilitation with specialist therapies and equipment. I enjoy playing wheelchair rugby and hope that one day, I’ll be able to re-start my career and maybe look to settle down with a family of my own.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to serious injury claims.