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Compensation For Woman Hit by Falling Panels Near Construction Site

Our personal injury solicitors represented Val, a woman who suffered a serious head injury in May 2012 while walking through Kidderminster town centre.

58-year-old Val, who has no memory of the incident, was hit by perimeter panels from a construction site, knocking her to the ground and causing serious head injuries. She was airlifted from the scene by air ambulance to the specialist critical care team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

At the time of the accident, Val lived alone and worked full time, enjoying a busy and active social life. Her injuries were so serious that she spent 14 days in hospital and experienced severe dizziness, nausea and fatigue. However, she received invaluable support from the Headway Acute Trauma Nurse and was eventually sent home under strict instructions to rest and recuperate. This advice took some getting used to for Val, having led such a full and independent life before her injury.

Specialist advice & support

Once Val contacted us, we worked hard to ensure that those responsible for her injuries admitted blame at an early stage. We also secured interim payments to give her peace of mind during her recovery since she wasn’t able to work.

Val’s immediate priorities were to understand her injury and the consequences that it would have on her life. Our client liaison manager (an occupational therapist with extensive experience of neurological injuries) supported Val and supplied her with information and guidance about what to expect in her recovery and also assisted her with practical, day-to-day matters.

Val was keen to maintain contact with her employer, who provided her with the benefit of an income protection scheme. This scheme also gave Val access to another occupational therapist. Working collaboratively, our client liaison manager and the occupational therapist devised and implemented a phased return to work programme. Our client liaison manager provided essential information to Val’s colleagues about her injury, her symptoms and the things that Val would find difficult upon returning to work.

Unfortunately Val’s phased return to work was repeatedly delayed as her symptoms and profound fatigue continued to have a significant and daily impact. With support from her local Headway Group, Val began treatment with a neuropsychologist as well as a cranial osteopath.

When Val did return to work after attempting reduced hours, she found that the benefit of working for so few hours a week was far outweighed by the intrusive symptoms that she was still experiencing and she had to resign from her post.

A true inspiration

Since finishing work, Val has gradually increased her voluntary work, firstly in a local charity shop and then with Headway and now works a few hours a week for Headway’s new Kidderminster group. She was adamant that she wanted to give something back after the amazing support that she had received from the Headway Acute Trauma Nurse in hospital and the Headway Group in Worcester. She has returned to her pre-injury activity of walking, albeit at a slower pace and over shorter distances.

Val’s solicitor Hilary Wetherell, a Partner in the serious injury team, commented: “Val is a true inspiration; she is one of a large number of people who suffer a moderate head injury and are left with a range of subtle but intrusive symptoms. These symptoms impact upon all aspects of her life yet are not always obvious to those who do not know her.

"Witnessing her valiant attempt at a phased return to work evidenced just how difficult this is after a head injury despite the best efforts of her extremely supportive employer. Today, she continues to experience severe fatigue, some dizziness, light sensitivity as well as balance and co-ordination issues. She has had to adapt to a new life without full time work and has channelled the energy that she does have into supporting others who have suffered life changing head injuries.”

Val commented:“I realised immediately when I met my solicitor Hilary that I was in safe hands. She presented as an extremely professional lady, confident and knowledgeable in her area of expertise, with such a kind manner about her. It was also hugely comforting to learn how clearly she understood a brain injury and the impact such a trauma creates on the sufferer.

"Now almost four years since my accident occurred, I have gradually learned over that period of time that the best way for me to enjoy life again is to take the positives and appreciate what I have achieved rather than dwell on what I have lost. Life is indeed much slower paced and quiet compared with before, but I have eventually found contentment and made peace with myself enabling me to embrace my ‘new life.’”

Val Hurst

Our serious injury claims team could help you claim compensation if you have suffered a serious head or brain injury as the result of an accident. Visit our Brain & Head Injury Claims page for more information.

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