Our serious injury solicitors helped our client, Steve*, secure a £200,000 rehabilitation and compensation package after a driver who ran a red light hit Steve's car at speed.
The collision happened in late 2016, when Steve was passing across a junction with traffic lights. The lights were green for Steve but as he continued through the junction, a van travelled through a red light from the other road into Steve’s path. A collision occurred at speed, injuring him so badly that he couldn’t get out of the car.
Paramedics attended the accident, helped Steve out of his car and took him to hospital. He had broken a bone in his knee in multiple places and needed surgery to repair the damage.
He had plates and pins inserted in to his leg as well as a bone graft to aid healing. After the operation, Steve needed six weeks’ rest as he couldn’t bear weight on his injured leg. After these six weeks, he had to wear a leg brace for another three months. This extended recovery period meant Steve, a full-time HGV driver, was unable to work.
Not only did Steve’s physical health suffer, but so did his mental health. Steve suffered with disturbed sleep, experiencing nightmares and flashbacks to the collision. He also became increasingly anxious when travelling in a vehicle.
Steve lived alone and his family often had to come round to help Steve with everyday activities like showering, getting around, cooking and housework. Steve was off work for 11 months and struggled to climb in and out of the HGV’s when he returned. This led to a career change and reduced earnings for Steve.
Meanwhile, the driver was charged with driving without due care and attention and agreed to attend a driver awareness course.
How we helped
Steve contacted our serious injury team to see if we could help him claim for his loss of income and medical costs.
Louise Morgan, a solicitor from our Sheffield office, investigated the collision and felt he had a strong compensation claim. She made the claim against the van driver’s insurers, who confirmed they would deal with the claim and worked collaboratively with Louise to get Steve the support he needed.
We arranged for experts to assess Steve’s immediate medical and rehabilitation needs. Steve was already getting physiotherapy from the NHS, but the insurers agreed to fund extra private physiotherapy and psychotherapy while the rest of the claim continued. We also secured a payment from the insurance company to cover the income Steve lost while earning only statutory sick pay during his recovery.
Once we'd helped address Steve’s immediate needs, Louise then began better understanding the long-term impact the crash on both Steve’s physical and mental health.
This began with collecting expert evidence from an orthopaedic consultant and a psychologist.
The orthopaedic consultant advised getting more scans of Steve’s knee, which showed that it was at risk of further degeneration. Steve was likely to need a knee replacement in a few years’ time, and potentially another later in life too.
We sent this evidence to the insurers, who made an initial settlement offer for Steve’s total compensation. We thought that the offer did not properly reflect the extent of the injuries or Steve’s losses and rejected the offer, and made a higher counter offer.
Eventually, we agreed a fair settlement with the insurers after starting the process to take the claim to court. Steve received £200,000 compensation to cover his injuries and his past, present, and future medical expenses and his loss of income.
Helping Steve move forward
After the settlement, we referred Steve to our colleagues in the Court of Protection team who helped him set up a Personal Injury Trust. This will protect his compensation so it continues to meet his medical needs for years to come. It’s also set up so that Steve can still claim means tested benefits if he needs to in the future.
As well as setting up the trust, we drafted a loan agreement so Steve could securely lend some money to a family member.
“Steve was a pleasure to work with,” said Louise. “He enthusiastically took up the offer of rehabilitation we were able to organise for him, and worked hard on his recovery. He was also very swift to provide any information we requested from him.”
We have achieved a settlement that provides compensation should Steve experience difficulties with his current work role and in doing tasks, such as decorating and gardening, when his knee symptoms deteriorate; he will be able to pay people to do those jobs. He will also be able to pay privately for the future surgery he is likely to require.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, call us on 0370 1500 100 or contact us online to see how we can help.
*names have been changed
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