Lawyer Says Family’s Life Turned Upside Down By ‘Irresponsible Actions Of A Negligent Driver’
The family of a man left with devastating brain injuries after a car careered off the road and smashed into the back of his vehicle as he made a call on the hard shoulder today said they were looking forward to moving on with their lives after winning their two-year battle for justice.
39-year-old Andrew Chin was awarded the equivalent of £3.6 million by a Judge at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday, which his lawyers say will fund a life time of care after he developed a life threatening bleed on the brain when he was thrown forward by the force of the crash, smashing his head on the steering wheel and rendering him unconscious.
The injuries sustained by the father of two, from Maypole Druids Heath, Birmingham, were so severe that he now faces a lifetime of painful rehabilitation, will never be able to live independently or return to work, and relies heavily on his family for help with the most basic day to day tasks.
His lawyer, serious injury specialist Jonathan Betts from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said that the news was a huge relief for the family, whose lives have been turned upside down by the ‘irresponsible actions of a negligent driver’.
He said: “It is important that this money is not seen as a lottery win for Andrew and his family. The money will go towards securing his future care needs, providing for his family, and ensuring he can live as normal and comfortable a life as possible in spite of his injuries.”
A former managing director of a stainless steel company, Andrew was living in Trefor, near Caernarvon North Wales with his wife Michelle, age 32, when a Subaru Legacy ploughed into his stationary car on the A55 dual carriageway in June 2008. The driver has since been convicted of driving without due care and attention, was fined and his licence endorsed.
The force of the impact caused Andrew’s head to smash into the steering wheel of his car with such force that he sustained major brain swelling to the frontal part of his brain, and the damage to his car was so severe he had to endure a rescue operation whilst the fire service cut him free.
Rushed to Glan Clwyd Hospital near Rhyl Andrew was later transferred to the specialist Neurological Centre at The Walton Centre Hospital in Liverpool, where he spent nearly two weeks on a life support machine in intensive care before transferring to Bangor hospital.
Andrew has since had to endure years of rehabilitation including time spent living at the Transitional Rehabilitation Unit in Haydock and being wrenched from his family, including now 19-month-old daughter Rhianna - who have since had to relocate to Wigan to be close to him.
Commenting on today’s outcome, Andrew’s wife Michelle, originally from Woodgate Valley in South Birmingham, said: “It has been an incredibly hard few years for our family, and I don’t think anyone can imagine how devastating a brain injury can be, it’s turned our lives upside down as its robbed Andrew of his independence.
“He still has to have rehabilitation for his head injury and physical injuries, including neuropsychological treatment and physiotherapy almost every day. Being far from our home and family support is so incredibly difficult.
“Needless to say, to know we will always be looked after is a huge relief for us all, while no amount of money will repair the damage done; we now have a chance to move on with our lives.
“I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Jonathan and Irwin Mitchell for helping my family access the care and support we so desperately needed.”
Jonathan Betts from Irwin Mitchell added: “The extent and complexity of the problems faced by Andrew mean the settlement which we have secured will ensure funding for Andrew to access rehabilitation and therapy services that will prove invaluable throughout his day-to-day life and means that the family have the best quality of life possible.
“It is extremely distressing to think that the irresponsible actions of a negligent driver can have such a lasting effect on a young family. I only hope that road users sit up and pay attention to the consequences of careless driving in a hope that lessons will be learnt, and future suffering prevented.”