Tavistock Husband And Wife Instruct Serious Injury Lawyers To Help Them Access Rehabilitation
A Devon couple seriously hurt in a crash are urging drivers to be safe after revealing the ‘devastating’ impact their injuries have had on their lives.
Chris and Jane Jordan, who live in the Tavistock area, were travelling to Long Ash to walk their dog, Pip, early one Sunday morning when a pick-up truck swerved into their lane and collided with their Nissan Micra. Emergency services attended the scene and the couple were taken to hospital.
Chris, who was driving, suffered serious injuries to his chest, back and lower limbs, including a complex fracture to his right foot. His wife Jane, who had to be transferred to hospital by air ambulance, sustained a catalogue of injuries including a head injury. The couple spent three to four weeks in hospital, with Jane spending five days in intensive care.
Following the crash, in March 2019, Chris and Jane, both currently aged 66, instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them access the specialist support and therapies they require as part of their recovery.
The couple’s legal team secured them both a six-figure settlement to fund the ongoing rehabilitation they require to help them overcome and manage their injuries as best possible.
In June 2019, at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court, the driver of the pick-up truck pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle with an alcohol level above the legal limit. The driver was subsequently disqualified from driving for 22 months.
Chris and Jane have now spoken for the first time about the effect their injuries have on their day-to-day lives. They have also joined their lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in supporting Road Safety Week.
Expert Opinion“What happened to Chris and Jane is a stark reminder of what people can be left to face as a result of the actions of other road users.
Their injuries still impact them more than three years on and will likely continue to do so for the rest of their lives. We’re therefore pleased that we have been able to secure settlements for them, which will ensure they continue to have access to the rehabilitation and therapies they require to maximise their recovery.
It will also remove some of the uncertainty Chris and Jane faced over their future.
With Road Safety Week upon us, we hope their case acts as a warning to others and highlights the importance of taking care on the roads, at all times.”
Declan French, Serious Injury Lawyer
The crash happened shortly after 9am on 24 March 2019. Following Chris’s admission to hospital, he underwent two operations to his right foot on 25 March and 3 April.
On 8 April, he was transferred to a hospital closer to home to continue his recovery. He was discharged home 10 days later. His mobility remained extremely limited, and he underwent further surgery on 11 July 2019 before returning home to continue his recovery.
Since then, Chris has undergone further rehabilitation and received support from physiotherapy, orthotic and podiatry services. To this day, he has ongoing pain and may require further treatment or an operation in the future.
Prior to the incident, Chris had been working as a contract works manager in the construction industry. Due to his physical injuries and the psychological impact of the crash, he made the decision to take early retirement in September 2019.
After being airlifted to hospital due to the severity of her injuries, Jane spent five days in the intensive care unit following the crash. She was confined to bed rest and also underwent two operations – to her chest and right elbow. She still has no recollection of what happened.
Along with Chris, she was transferred to another hospital on 8 April 2019. She was discharged home four days later, but struggled with her memory and balance. She also suffered headaches, fatigue and had problems with her hearing and taste. The couple’s daughter, Jessica, 43, stayed with her until Chris was discharged home.
Jane, an office administrator at a local newspaper, was unable to return to work for around three months before returning on reduced hours due to her injuries.
Chris said: “It was a dry, bright, Sunday morning. We were driving out to take the dog for a walk like we always did, when I remember seeing a truck suddenly swerved into our lane. I tried to brake but there was nothing I could do. Before I knew it, it had hit us.
“All I remember is a huge amount of noise, the sound of mental thudding or bursting a split second before a lapse in memory. After I came round, the car was full of what I initially thought was smoke. I looked to my left immediately and saw Jane slumped forwards in the passenger seat.
“Jane got the worst of it and I was so worried when she had to be airlifted to hospital. We were both allowed home after a few weeks, but it was a real struggle for us as we both required help with our care and mobility in different ways.
“It’s nearing four years since it happened but we’re still affected by our injuries on a daily basis. I made the difficult decision to retire early as I couldn’t continue in my job as it required driving, site visits and would have been too demanding. Jane also had to reduce her working hours as the difficulties she experienced from her head injury, particularly with memory and fatigue, were too much for her.
“Despite everything, we’re incredibly grateful to still be here and try to remain positive and focused on getting our lives back. We still face many challenges and it’s a possibility that I may need further surgery in the future, but we’re determined to make the best recoveries we can.
“By speaking out, we hope that people will realise the devastating impact their actions can have on others. It’s so important to take care on the roads. We wouldn’t want anyone else going through what we have.”
Following the accident Jane was invited by Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) to visit their headquarters at Exeter Airport along with other patients that had been airlifted to hospital that year. Jane said: “Although I had, and still have, no memory of the airlift it was very moving and cathartic giving me the opportunity to thank everyone involved and helped me to move forward following the accident and trauma. I now volunteer at Tavistock DAA shop once a week.”
Road Safety Week, organised by the charity Brake, runs from 14-20 November. This year’s theme is Safe Roads for All. Find out more
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling serious injury cases