21 October 2016
Recovering From a Serious Injury and How a Lawyer Can Help
Recently, our client was in the news after a seven-figure settlement was reached following a horrific road traffic accident abroad that resulted in burns to 96 per cent of her body. She has made a remarkable recovery, but still faces significant challenges and is likely to need assistance for the rest of her life.
Catrin Pugh was 19 and returning from ski season in the French Alps when the coach on which she was travelling crashed and caught fire. Catrin spent three months in an induced coma and has undergone more than 200 operations and procedures.
As a result of the trauma to her body, she has been left with significant disabilities, for example she has severely impaired eyesight and struggles with effects of the injuries to her hands. Nothing can make up for what Catrin has been through, but her successful road traffic accident compensation claim has enabled her to access rehabilitation and achieve some of her short term goals, including learning to walk again, returning to the ski slopes and learning to swim.
Rehabilitation is often key to a full and fast recovery following a serious injury, and it is important to begin the process immediately. In many cases, waiting for the end of court proceedings and the payment of financial compensation can mean that rehabilitation starts too late to make any real difference.
Catrin is, without a doubt, one of the bravest and most inspirational individuals I have ever met.
For the victim of an accident that results in life-changing injuries, bringing a civil case means that interim payments can be accessed. Interim payments are paid to a claimant by the defendant’s insurance company.
Sometimes serious injury claims can take a long time to conclude, as it takes time to assess the impact of the injuries and the likely recovery. However, the law recognises that the injured person may require early access to some of their compensation, for example in order to fund their rehabilitation needs such as specialist equipment, care and support, as well as potential accommodation changes.
For Catrin, a collaborative approach with the defendant’s insurance company meant early access to interim payments, meaning that she received additional help including the input of a clinical case manager, expert hand therapy and specialist occupational therapy equipment that she required which sat alongside specialist and expert NHS care. This, along with her own grit and determination, has helped her reach her optimum level of function, and to regain a quality of life those treating her in the early days never expected to see.
Catrin is, without a doubt, one of the bravest and most inspirational individuals I have ever met. She will forever be significantly affected by the extent of the injuries she sustained, but access to funds means she can now work towards her own goals.
Read more about Catrin’s story here.
Joanne Berry is a principal lawyer within the travel litigation team at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.
For a consultation or legal advice concerning an accident or illness abroad, our No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation.
Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online. From outside the UK please call +44 20 7657 1555.
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