Personal Injury case studies

Please see some of our recent Serious Injury cases below:

Motorist - £200,000 in compensation

A serious injury specialist with Slater and Gordon, said her client suffered serious injuries to his neck and back in the incident. “The other motorist was driving a large seven-seater vehicle, which had a ‘bull bar’-type safety grille at the front, which effectively crushed the driver’s side of my client’s car,” she said. “Luckily a paramedic was driving an ambulance nearby, and after hearing the enormous bang of the impact, headed straight to the scene and called other emergency services.

“My client remembers being in enormous pain as he was removed from the wreckage and taken to hospital. He didn’t know what was happening and could not feel his legs, back, chest, neck and face. He was struggling to breathe, and when he was put on a spinal board in the ambulance, he feared that he may have been paralysed.”

The Slater and Gordon Serious Injury Lawyer said that despite the other driver being charged with motoring offences, it still took four months before the defendant’s insurers would admit liability for the incident.

“My client’s car spun 180 degrees, causing him to sustain a variety of injuries to his head, neck, ribs, arms, legs and back,” said the Lawyer. “The injuries led to constant pain, and it was soon apparent that he would require extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation to aid his recovery.

“He also became very indecisive, prone to panicking, increasingly restless and began to suffer depression,” said the Lawyer. “The enormity of the ordeal he had been through meant that following a prolonged absence as part of his recovery, he could only return to work part-time.”

The Lawyer said that before the accident, her client had been offered a job which would have led to a substantial increase in his salary, together with other additional benefits. “But the accident left him unable to take up that opportunity,” she said, “and instead he actually saw his wages fall as his hours were reduced.”

The Lawyer said that the defendants then mounted a remorseless attack on her client’s character, trying to use surveillance footage and gather evidence to disprove the extent of the injuries he sustained and the effect they had on his ability to work.

“They tried to use this to minimise the damages, and offered to settle the claim for just over £65,000,” said the Lawyer. “Considering the injuries and ordeal my client had been through and the impact on his working life, that was derisory.”

The Lawyer said the offer did not include any funds to pay the rehabilitation costs her client had accrued as part of his recovery, nor did it fully compensate his lost earnings and the impact on his future earnings.

Following lengthy negotiations, the Lawyer settled the claim on her client’s behalf for £200,000 - more than three times the amount the insurers had initially offered.

£930,000 settlement for brain injury victim following fall from boat

Slater and Gordon's Personal Injury Lawyer, said the man, who is in his 30s, was left with a number of disabilities including permanent damage to his vision following the incident which occurred more than two years ago.

“My client was receiving an induction on his first day as a crew member on board a dry-docked yacht when the colleague looking after him had to fetch some gear from a warehouse,” said the Personal Injury Lawyer, a partner with the firm. “He told my client that the yacht’s windows would have to be cleaned later that day and he would be back in a few minutes.

“He was a short time later found on the quayside with severe injuries, presumed to have fallen a distance of more than six metres from the top deck of the yacht.”

Having sustained a severe injury to his brain as well as multiple skull fractures, the young man was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he underwent an operation to drain excess bleeding from around his brain. After four weeks of treatment he was repatriated to a specialist rehabilitation hospital in the UK where he remained for a number of weeks before he was then discharged to a residential care unit for brain injury victims.

“This was a complex case as there were several jurisdictions involved,” said the Personal Injury Lawyer. “My client is a British national who was working in New Zealand on board a yacht that is registered in the Caribbean, managed by a firm in the United States and insured by a company with representatives in the UK. As it was his first day he hadn’t yet received any training or instruction on the use of safety equipment. We had to conduct a detailed analysis of the law in each of the countries that had any connection to the accident, both in relation to issues of liability and quantum of damages, and consider which country’s law was most likely to be applied.”

The Personal Injury Lawyer said establishing liability based on common law negligence on the part of our client’s employers and/or the owners of the yacht, was extremely difficult. “We entered negotiations with the insurer’s representatives and, despite there being no admission of liability, a settlement was agreed on the basis that the insurers of the yacht agreed to pay my client £930,000 for the losses incurred to date as well as the loss of earnings and rehabilitation costs he has and will incur as a result of his injuries.

“My client was in a wheelchair and unable to even feed himself for a number of months following his accident,” she said. “Since then, his condition has improved remarkably. This is in no small part due to my client’s determination and the laudable and eminently practical approach of the insurers, who ensured that my client had access to the best rehabilitation facilities possible from the moment they became involved. Although he is now living and working independently, he continues to suffer with a number of significant disabilities.

“Sadly, his brain injury has caused him to lose half his field of vision in both eyes - something he’s been told is unlikely to improve,” added the Personal Injury Lawyer. “In addition, his speech, language, memory and mental reasoning are generally much slower and less precise than they were previously. Despite these ongoing difficulties we are pleased the settlement he has now received will help as he continues with his recovery and rehabilitation.”

Man in collision receives £300,000 compensation

A construction worker who was unable to return to work after he was seriously injured in a high speed road accident, has received more than £300,000 in compensation.

The man was driving his car to work when another motorist lost control of her vehicle and veered into his own. He was rushed to hospital by ambulance, where he was treated for his injuries and underwent surgery to repair a number of fractures. The other motorist was sadly killed in the incident.

Leanne Tattam, a lawyer with Slater and Gordon, said the man – who was in his 50s - sustained such a catalogue of injuries that it affected his ability to work.

“As a result of the accident my client suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis, a fractured wrist, fracture and dislocation to his hip, along with multiple fractures and dislocation to his foot,” said Leanne. “He underwent numerous reconstruction and fixation surgeries – involving the insertion of various metal pins and rods - and although they were successful in the main he has been left suffering from constant aches and pain, and with considerable and understandable limitations to his mobility.

“In addition, he also suffered a head injury and moderate brain injury,” said Leanne.

The defendant in the case was the insurance company of the other motorist, and after admitting liability for the man’s injuries they offered to settle the claim for around £200,000.

“Whilst that was clearly a not inconsiderable amount, it didn’t take into account the full implications of my client’s injuries – the care he would need, and his inability to return to the construction industry in which he had worked for many years,” said Leanne.

“We secured expert evidence from a number of medical specialists, including an orthopaedic surgeon who specialised in hip fractures, a consultant neurologist, psychiatrist, and neuropsychologist,” she said. “These medical experts were in agreement that the extent and nature of the injuries meant that my client could not undertake the physical work he had done prior to the accident, and he was therefore severely disadvantaged on the open labour market. As the injuries therefore affected his ability to earn a living, we factored this into our negotiations.”

Leanne settled the claim on behalf of her client for a total of £310,000.

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