Our serious injury team at Moore Barlow have secured a settlement for our client who was subject to serious injuries in a road traffic collision.
On the day of the collision, our client was on her way home from work riding a push scooter on the pavement when a driver in a Lexus motorcar collided into her as she was going past the entrance to a petrol station. Our client was thrown into the air, landed on the bonnet of the car, and finally ended up on the ground. Our client was treated at the scene by paramedics then taken to the emergency department by ambulance. The police were also in attendance.
Our client sustained a serious open right tibial plateau fracture and psychological injuries.
Our client underwent surgery for external fixation of her right knee and 4 days later further surgery for open reduction and internal fixation on the right tibial plateau fracture. Our client was discharged home 2 days after her last surgery with crutches and her right leg in a brace. She was advised against weight bearing upon her discharge from hospital. After further assessments later that month, she was advised it was likely she would need a full knee replacement in 10 years’ time and was advised to partial weight bear. Our client was weaned off the brace three months after surgery as she gradually increased her weight bearing.
Our client required significant care and assistance with tasks she could not do while reliant on her crutches. This was provided by her partner and family.
As part of our early enquiries, we wrote to the police for the details of the driver and his vehicle and to the petrol station for any CCTV footage that captured the collision. Once the identity of the driver and vehicle were known we notified his insurance company of our client’s claim against their insured driver.
The insurance company accepted primary liability for the collision but alleged that our client contributed to the collision occurring, however failed to state the reasons for their allegations. We raised this omission with the insurance company who argued that our client was not wearing a helmet, her push scooter would fall into the same category as a bicycle and therefore she should not have been scooting on the pavement. These arguments were strenuously resisted by our client as being incorrect, and that there was no requirement for her to be wearing a helmet when using a push scooter. Our client’s primary injury was her knee.
We actively engaged in the investigation of liability including the provision to the insurance company of a timely Letter of Claim, CCTV footage and police report unfortunately this approach was not reciprocated.
The driver was prosecuted for driving without due care and attention and received a fine and 6 penalty points on his licence.
Our client started NHS physiotherapy treatment for her right knee. Our client was advised of exercises to help strengthen her quads and hamstring. The physiotherapist gave the opinion that due to the structural damage to the knee, full recovery was unlikely.
Moore Barlow instructed a case manager to progress our client’s additional rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the insurance company was not willing to provide funding or engage in rehabilitation for our client. We therefore proceeded with the instruction of the case manager on a unilateral basis to organise private therapies, aids and equipment utilising deferred payment terms.
In tandem with concerns over her injuries, our client had additional worries about her job which she had recently started. Our client was motivated to participate in her rehabilitation as best as she could and worked very hard on her therapies with the help and support of the rehabilitation team.
In order to assess the likely value of our client’s claim, we obtained a medico-legal report from a consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon specialising in knee injuries.
While the fracture of her knee had united well, the consultant reported that our client would have permanent restriction of movement in activities such as kneeling and squatting. She has a high chance of requiring a knee replacement in the future with deliberation to be given to removing the metalwork within her knee. The risk of developing secondary osteoarthritis in the injured knee was considered to be inevitable.
Our client was left with significant scarring on her right leg with further scarring on her left lower leg and face. These would be permanent. Our client works within the fashion industry and the way she looks and carries herself is important to her. We obtained the opinion of a skin camouflage consultant on remedial skin camouflage for the scarring. The consultant reported that our client’s scars would be more photosensitive and in need of protection and provided within her report her recommendations for camouflage makeup and the associated likely lifetime annual expenses.
The insurance company made a Part 36 offer to settle the issue of liability on a 75:25 split in which our client would be 25% responsible for her injuries therefore reducing any compensation she was entitled to by 25%. We sought instructions from our client who was understandably upset as she held the driver wholly responsible for the collision. The insurance company was not willing to negotiate with us. We proceeded to obtain medico-legal evidence and finalise our client’s evidence in order to progress matters.
We therefore instructed counsel to advise. Having obtained counsel opinion, we proceeded to negotiate with the insurance company on a monetary basis whereby on a gross valuation of the claim the settlement was in six figures.
“Matthew Claxson and Michelle Halsall were incredibly professional, prompt and calming during a very stressful time in my life when they were dealing with my accident case – I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.”Client
The claim was conducted by partner, Matthew Claxson with the assistance of trainee legalexecutive, Michelle Halsall. With thanks to Simon Brindle of Counsel, 9 Gough Chambers.
Moore Barlow is here to help those who have suffered a serious personal injury. If you need to speak with one of our expert personal injury solicitors, please call up on 0800 157 7611 or contact us online.