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Specialist brain injury solicitors at Irwin Mitchell secured a structured settlement for an 82-year-old man who was severely injured in a car crash when riding his bicycle.
Jonathan (whose name we have changed) was involved in a serious road traffic incident three years ago, when he was 79. He was travelling on his bicycle in Derbyshire. The driver of the vehicle failed to see him because of the sun, and subsequently collided with Jonathan and his bicycle.
A long period of hospital treatment
He was transferred by Air Ambulance to Chesterfield Hospital, and later moved to the Northern General Hospital, a major trauma centre. After a long period of life-saving treatment, he was discharged into a care home.
Jonathan initially instructed a local firm of solicitors. They didn’t secure an admission of liability, nor did they secure any interim payments. This meant that Jonathan was stuck in a care home which isn’t where he wanted to be.
Rehabilitation team and alternative accommodation
After becoming bewildered at his situation, Jonathan contacted us. We quickly secured a full admission of liability and a significant interim payment. Our solicitors instructed a case manager and a physiotherapist. The rehabilitation team later included an occupational therapist and support workers.
Irwin Mitchell helped Jonathan investigate alternative accommodation, seeing whether he could return to the home he had lived in before the incident. As this wasn’t a viable option, we looked for a suitable bungalow. Jonathan subsequently decided that he wanted to live in a retirement village, close to his family. When Jonathan moved out of the nursing home and into the retirement village, his mood instantly improved.
We obtained a significant amount of documentary, witness and expert evidence to help value Jonathan’s case. There was a major dispute about life expectancy. The driver’s insurance company’s view was that Jonathan would live for another year, but our position was that Jonathan would live for another eight years.
Full admission of liability
At a negotiation meeting, we secured a lump sum for Jonathan and an annual payment. The annual payment will be a guaranteed tax-free income for the remainder of his life. This was an important achievement because of the dispute about life expectancy.
David Withers, a solicitor in the Serious Injury team, commented: “When Jonathan first instructed Irwin Mitchell, there was no rehabilitation team in place. He was living in a place which he hated. There was no admission of liability. It was devastating to see that 12 months had passed since the incident and no material steps had been taken. We acted quickly, securing a full admission of liability and implementing a full rehabilitation team.
“We secured a number of interim payments as a result of making an application to the Court. We took over paying for the accommodation fees on Jonathan’s behalf and investigated alternative accommodation. We also obtained a structured settlement which will mean that Jonathan is financially secure for the remainder of his life.”
Louise Jenkins, Partner in the Serious Injury team, added: “As soon as we took over the case, we immediately put a plan in place, initially to arrange for specialist neurophysiotherapy treatment on a private basis, in order to ensure that Jonathan had access to the best possible treatment with the aim of trying to get him walking again. He managed to achieve this with the help of his team and his determination through many treatment sessions including hydrotherapy. He was then able to engage with more activities and socialise in the community which restored quality of life and released him from a position of isolation which he had been in before Irwin Mitchell’s involvement.
“He now leads an active life with a varied range of activities and plenty of social contact, which he really enjoys. The multi-disciplinary team approach to Jonathan’s rehabilitation coupled with the specialist legal advice he received enabled him to reach his potential and look to the future with positivity.”
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