Lawyers Have Secured Her A Settlement After Her Car Was Carried Across M6 Central Reservation By Out Of Control HGV
A woman, left with traumatic brain injuries after being thrown from her car on to the busy M6 in a catastrophic crash with a HGV, is speaking out about life after her accident as part of Action For Brain Injury Week after lawyers secured her a settlement to help with her rehabilitation and recovery.
Julie Kane, 58, from Maghull, Liverpool was travelling back from Birmingham NEC on October 18, 2014, with fiancé Mike at the wheel when the driver of the HGV suffered a medical episode at the wheel and ploughed into their white Citroen C4, sending it careering through the central reservation.
Julie was thrown from the car onto the road as the vehicle spun before it eventually came to a stop facing the wrong way on to oncoming traffic on the opposite carriageway.
Julie, who suffered a significant brain injury and multiple orthopaedic injuries, was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she was placed into an induced coma for 10 days. She was transferred to Aintree Hospital on November and discharged home two days later. Mike, 64, was left with injuries to his back and neck and did not need to be admitted to hospital.
The mum-of-two instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access funding for specialist rehabilitation and mobility aids. Her legal team has secured an undisclosed seven-figure settlement to cover the costs of her lengthy recovery.
Richard Biggs, an expert serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Julie, said:
Expert Opinion“Julie and Mike’s crash was horrific and it is nothing short of a miracle they both survived. But the crash, for which both Mike and the HGV driver were blameless, has left Julie with a severe brain injury which has meant she has been unable to return to a job she loved and was exceptional at and struggles with many everyday tasks most of us take for granted.
“We are delighted to have secured a settlement for Julie which will fund her ongoing rehabilitation and therapy and give her financial peace of mind so that she can hopefully work towards returning to independent living.” Richard Biggs - Senior Associate Solicitor
Julie is now speaking about her experience in support of the annual Action For Brain Injury campaign week organised by Headway, which runs from 14 to 20 May. The theme of the week is ‘you, me, and brain injury’ and focusses on the ripple effect of how brain injury not only affects the individual, but also their family and friends.
At the time of her accident, Julie was a well-regarded fraud investigator for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), but had to give up work in December 2016 due to her injuries.
As a result of the crash, Julie suffers with cognitive issues affecting her memory and personality; in particular she suffers from cognitive fatigue which has a significant effect on her daily life. She is also anxious as a passenger in a car and is unable to look after her young grandson because she struggles with concentration.
But despite the terrible impact of her injuries, Julie was able to go ahead with her wedding to Mike on September 25th 2016, supported by her two daughters.
After ankle surgery in December the same year, Julie’s mobility is easier but her balance is affected by her brain injury.
She said: “It’s been undoubtedly difficult since the crash. I feel my personality has changed significantly since the crash. I’m much more irritable than I used to be and feel like I have lost my sense of humour. Obviously, these changes have caused difficulties not just for me, but also my family.
“I have to learn strategies to pace myself as I find myself getting fatigued. If I have something organised on a certain day, I am now finding that saying no to seeing family or friends is okay to do. Otherwise I just exhaust myself.
“This year’s Action For Brain Injury Week ‘you, me, and brain injury’ theme is providing a great platform for people like myself and their families to share their stories, dispel some myths and raise awareness of brain injury and what life after such a trauma is like.
“That’s why I have decided to speak out to help raise awareness of the full effects of a brain injury. Not just the effects on me, or the person who suffered the injury, but the effects on all the whole family and friends.”
Julie added: “The settlement secured for me by my legal team at Irwin Mitchell has already helped me immensely to begin my rehabilitation and it will continue helping me throughout my recovery, while giving me and my family some financial security now that I have had to leave work.”
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