The Moore Barlow serious personal injury team recently settled a severe brain injury case, arising out of a road traffic collision. Settlement was agreed on a provisional damages’ basis, with a lump sum of £3,650,000.00 and periodical payments, which are estimated to have a total value of £16,862,500 over the client’s remaining life.
This will ensure our client will have access to over £20 million to support their future rehabilitation, care needs and goals. The settlement terms were endorsed and approved by the High Court at a recent approval hearing.
This fantastic settlement was achieved using leading neuro and brain injury experts, who included:
- Dr Kent, Consultant in Neurorehabilitation;
- Professor Shapira, Professor of Neurology;
- Dr Lesley Murphy, Consultant Neuropsychologist; and
- Maggie Sargent, Care and Case Management Expert.
The Moore Barlow team involved
- Damian Horan (Partner, Litigation and Deputy)
- Fadwa Errhioui (Partner – Litigation)
- Caroline Buckingham (Senior Associate – Litigation)
- Niamh Hills (Associate – Litigation)
Our client, who was aspiring to take over the family business on completing their college studies, was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle. The driver lost control which sent the vehicle into a barrel roll, and our client was thrown from their seat.
As a result of the accident, our client suffered injuries of the utmost severity, including a very severe traumatic brain injury involving bilateral subdural haemorrhages with associated diffuse axonal injury, in addition to spinal fractures, ankle fractures and lung contusions. The driver, a friend of the client, tragically died from the injuries they sustained.
After initial treatment, which included an induced coma, our client was transferred to a specialist neuro-rehabilitation hospital, where they received specialist input, whilst we secured private funding to ensure that facilities were in place to allow a return home.
Our client had predominant left hemisphere and frontal lobe impairment, but also bilateral neurological findings associated with diffuse axonal injury and the rise in intracranial pressure they experienced. In addition, they suffered with significant brain stem related problems, with spastic tetra paresis involving significant impairment of three out of four limbs, pronounced on the right side, problems with sitting balance, deconjugate eye movement and a squint, right facial weakness, and spastic dysarthria, swallowing impairment and associated drooling and bulbar dysfunction, which rendered them severely physically disabled.
We were able to work collaboratively with the Defendant Insurer under the Rehabilitation Code 2015 to secure substantial funding to meet our clients care and rehabilitation needs, in addition to securing substantial interim payments to fund rehabilitation recommendations.
Due to the nature and extent of the injuries, our client did not have capacity to manage their own financial affairs, so Deputies have been appointed, and they continue to manage the client’s financial affairs with the assistance of the Moore Barlow court of protection team.
We were able to secure an early primary admission of liability, which enabled us to secure significant funding to make substantial, temporary adaptions to our client’s home (which included the building of an extension) and to fund a 24/7 care package.
Working with experienced case managers, we were able to put in place the right care support package to ensure our client was fully supported with all their additional care needs, which were needed to be met 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Our client needed adapted transportation by way of a vehicle which allowed for a wheelchair, together with extensive therapy including physiotherapy, psychological therapy, occupational therapy, neurotherapy, speech and language therapy, gym programming, and extensive aids and equipment, all with the focus on ensuring as much of our client’s independence was obtained and sustained as possible.
However, a feature of the case was that the Defendant insurers alleged our client was not only contributory negligent for failing to wear a seatbelt, but also claimed our client had knowledge that the driver was over the drink drive limit. This needed to be investigated through expert accident reconstruction evidence. A specific level of contributory negligence was not agreed as part of the settlement, but contributory negligence of circa 20% was factored into the settlement terms.
Cognitively, our client had great difficulty with memory and behavioural abnormality related to their frontal lobe function. Although their language was superficially good, they were profoundly affected and had lost capacity. Their high-level judgement and behaviour, disinhibition and some verbal issues all reflected dysexecutive syndrome.
Developments throughout the duration of the case
Throughout the duration of the litigation process, our client lived in a remote area in the North of England. Whilst this presented some challenges initially with setting up the appropriate rehabilitation and therapy team to address their high-level needs, Moore Barlow were able to utilise their national connections to ensure the right support was in place for this client.
In addition, given the severity of our client’s injuries, we also had to obtain evidence in respect of life expectancy which was found to be reduced.
Whilst our client was able to improve their ability to eat, having been PEG fed during the early stages of the claim, eating remained a potential safety issue, which was factored into future support needs and the medico-legal evidence.
Matters were concluded once evidence had been gathered and exchanged, at a joint settlement meeting between the parties. We were able to broker and secure a comprehensive proposed settlement which was later endorsed and approved by the Court.
This settlement has meant that our client is now able to purchase or build suitable accommodation, adapted for long-term rehabilitation and mobility needs, close to their family and support network. Whilst their family are currently keen and able to support ongoing needs, this settlement provides for the provision of professional care when our client’s family are no longer around.
I’m delighted that we have been able to reach a great outcome for our client and their family. It is reassuring to know that there will be adequate funds available to make sure he is properly looked after with an improved quality of life in the future.Damian Horan, Partner, Moore Barlow
Life after an injury and a personal injury settlement
After concluding the litigation process, our client can continue their life, safe in the knowledge that they will have funds to meet any additional needs that may arise in the future in terms of care, therapy, equipment, or accommodation and has a continuing periodical payment order as a means of secure income to fund this.
Our client was signposted to Damian Horan by another solicitor who knew that our client needed the support and expert legal knowledge in the neurotrauma field to ensure the best possible outcome.
How Moore Barlow can help
This case is an example of the high level of work and expertise of our serious personal injury team, and the benefit that can be provided from this level of appropriate legal guidance to those who may be accessing brain injury support services through providers such as Headway.
If you or a family member require expert legal advice as a result of an injury, please contact us today.