Irwin Mitchell Working With Woman To Help Her Access Specialist Rehabilitation
A woman who suffered multiple fractures, including a broken neck and back in a high-speed horror crash, has welcomed the sentence handed out to the driver who caused her life-changing injuries.
Hollie Smith suffered 27 broken bones in her spine, ribs and legs when a car being driven by Mark Barnes ploughed head on into her vehicle on the B4100 in Warwickshire.
Following the collision, Hollie, 25, needed a five pint blood transfusion as doctors battled to save her life. She spent weeks in hospital and has undergone eight operations on her injuries, with more surgery expected.
Hollie, of Kenilworth, has instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies she needs to overcome her physical and psychological injuries the best she can.
She has joined her legal team at Irwin Mitchell in welcoming two year and nine month custodial sentence handed down to Barnes at Coventry Crown Court on Friday. He was also banned from driving for five years.
Expert OpinionIt is disappointing that for so long Mr Barnes failed to take responsibility for his actions. He tried to overtake when it was very dangerous to do so and he has directly caused very serious injuries to Hollie.
“The denials of Mr Barnes have added insult to injury and Hollie is of course pleased that he was rightly convicted.
“Hollie has made great progress in her recovery but the matter does not end there for her as she has further operations and therapies ahead.
“We will continue to work with Hollie to help her gain access to the relevant rehabilitation services, so she can overcome her devastating injuries the best she can.” Stephen Nye - Partner
Hollie was returning home from work as a make-up artist on 10 November, 2015, when Barnes, who was attempting to overtake another vehicle, crashed into her car between Burton Dassett and Gaydon.
Hollie spent around 90 minutes trapped in her car before she was cut free by firefighters.
She suffered multiple spinal fractures, a number of broken ribs as well as a broken right femur, right lower leg and left foot.
Barnes, 51, of Southam, Warwickshire, was charged with two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and claimed that he could not be held criminally responsible because he suffered an epileptic seizure at the time.
However, it emerged during his trial last month that he had a known epileptic condition, and that he should not have been driving because of that. The jury rejected his argument that he was not accountable by reason of his medical condition.
Whilst Hollie has made excellent progress and has been determined in her efforts to get better, the injuries are so severe that they will leave a degree of lifelong disability.
She said: “I was just driving along then all of a sudden a car came out of nowhere and ploughed into me. I had no time to react.
“The next thing I remember was being in hospital and the doctors telling me the extent of my injuries. I spent so much time lying in a hospital bed thinking of how my life would never be the same again because of the reckless actions of another motorist.
“The sentencing is a major milestone for me. I’m glad that the driver has finally seen justice and I hope my story acts as a warning of the consequences of what can happen as a result of drivers breaking the law.
“I will always be angry at the driver, not only for injuries he caused me but also for the way he refused to accept responsibility for what happened, which just added to the hurt and pain I’ve had to go through. However, I now want to focus on the battles ahead in trying to overcome my injuries and making the most of life.”
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling serious injury cases.