Significant Damages for Woman Injured in Motorway Pileup
30 June 2015
Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Solicitor Nigel Smith secured significant damages for a woman who was injured in a road traffic accident.
Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Nigel Smith is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
Nigel’s client was a 41-year-old woman who was employed on a fixed-term contract in the complaints department of an NHS Hospital Trust.
Whilst on her way to work in February 2013, Nigel’s client was sat in her car in a line of stationary traffic on the M6 motorway when a lorry collided with the rear of the line so forcefully that two people lost their lives in the ensuing multiple pileup.
The woman’s vehicle was crushed and almost completely destroyed. She was trapped in her car for two hours with spinal injuries before she was eventually cut free and airlifted to hospital where she underwent emergency life-threatening surgery.
Her employment with the Hospital Trust came to an end and despite her best attempts to return to work, she was unable to effectively continue with her job.
The woman instructed Slater and Gordon Lawyers in March 2013 and a claim was notified to the defendant’s insurers. Although liability was not immediately admitted, an admission of liability was secured following a coroner’s inquest.
How Nigel helped: Nigel reviewed the case and concluded that his client required early and immediate treatment and rehabilitation. He took on the claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) commonly known as a no win, no fee agreement.
A rehabilitation agency was instructed and Nigel also arranged for his client to undergo extensive cognitive behavioural therapy, physiotherapy and pain management relief.
A case manager was also instructed to explore the woman’s potential to return to work and the nature and extent of any possible role she would be able to do once she was finally able to return to employment. A number of interim compensation payments were secured from the defendant’s solicitors to fund the treatment and rehabilitation costs.
Impact: This was a complicated case that involved significant disputes between the medical experts instructed as to the extent to which Nigel’s client was likely to recover from the effects of her injuries, the extent to which she would be left with any permanent residual symptoms, and the extent to which she was capable of returning to work whether in a full or part-time capacity.
Decision: Despite liability being admitted, the complexity of the case required for the commencement of Court proceedings and the case itself was listed for a trial in October 2015 to assess compensation.
However, a joint settlement meeting was arranged with the defendant’s solicitors, which resulted in a significant compensation award that included damages for future financial losses, care assistance at home, and the cost of further medical and pain management treatment.
Nigel’s client was delighted with the outcome of the case. She greatly appreciated the fact he was able to secure on-going treatment for her during the litigation – treatment she wouldn’t have been able to fund herself and which could not have been provided by the NHS.
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