Our serious injury solicitors helped an aspiring actress secure five-figure compensation after a careless driver knocked her down, leaving her with serious injuries and permanent scarring.
Kate, a drama student in Oxford, had just left her student home to catch the bus from a nearby stop with a uni friend. They were walking along a busy road with parked cars on both sides. Suddenly a van driver drove onto the pavement to get around the parked cars.
The driver hit Kate, causing severe injuries including spinal fractures and a large cut on her scalp. Luckily, a pedestrian walking past saw the incident and helped calm Kate’s very distressed friend.
The pedestrian stayed with Kate and made sure she was okay while her friend phoned an ambulance. “I still don’t know who it was but I can’t thank him enough. He really was my saviour,” said Kate.
Paramedics arrived on the scene shortly after the call, immediately placing Kate onto a spinal board and taking her to the local hospital. “I remember the paramedics cutting my clothes and placing things round my neck and head so I couldn’t move before placing me on a spinal board,” she said.
“It wasn’t until much later when I was in hospital that the severity of everything clicked. I kept thinking I would be up and about in no time but I wasn’t. When the surgeons started mentioning terms like paralysis and the chances of success of surgery it was terrifying.”
Surgeons then inserted two steel rods into her spine during a six-hour operation. Kate’s recovery took several months, including wearing a spinal brace which supported her for three months.
The accident also left Kate with permeant scarring across her face. It often makes her feel self-conscious and she wears make-up to cover it up.
Kate continued her recovery at home and contacted our serious injury lawyers. She wanted to see how we could support her in gaining compensation and specialist rehabilitation for her injury.
Matthew Smith, a solicitor from our London office, investigated the crash, collecting police reports and witness statements. We also gathered medical reports as evidence for the lasting impact of Kate’s injuries.
He submitted a claim to the driver’s insurers, who admitted liability for the accident. Matthew then negotiated a five-figure compensation settlement for Kate to help her through her recovery.
A criminal case ran parallel to the compensation claim and the driver pleaded guilty to causing serious harm by dangerous driving. He got 6 points on his license and had to pay a fine.
Kate did struggle with her injuries when she returned to her studies, and has found that they’ve held her back from getting more acting roles.
However, she has since successfully completed her degree and secured a lead part in a West End production of The Mousetrap. Kate’s also featured as an extra in the Hollywood film, Death on the Nile.
Kate adds: “The last couple of years have been difficult but I want to try and put what happened behind me. I’m now focused on making the most of my career. I just hope that by speaking out people realise the harm they can cause and take care on the roads.”
Matthew Smith, the solicitor who has helped Kate through her recovery and claim also added: “The last few years and attempting to come to terms with the physical and emotional impact of the crash have been incredibly difficult for Kate. While nothing can make up for what has happened, we're pleased to have secured this settlement for Kate which will fund her ongoing rehabilitation."
If a serious injury has affected you or a loved one then we may be able to help. Please contact 0370 1500 100 or contact us online to learn how we can help.
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