The Serious Injury team at Moore Barlow has obtained settlement for a client in her 70s who sustained a traumatic brain injury.
On the date of the collision, our client was crossing a road when she was hit by the defendant’s vehicle. As a result of the collision, our client sustained a severe brain injury with a fracture to the base of her skull. Neurosurgery and months of high dependency in-patient hospital care were required. Despite our client’s age, prior to the collision she was in full health and lived a completely independent and fulfilling life.
By the time the Serious Injury team was instructed, our client had been discharged from hospital into a care home due to her requirement for 24-hour care and supervision. The collision left our client with impaired memory function, speech deficits and she lacked the mental capacity to manage her personal and financial affairs.
Obtaining funding for rehabilitation
We sought early expert opinion from a neurorehabilitation expert so the client’s ongoing needs could be assessed. It was apparent that the care home was completely unsuitable for our client and failed to provide her with the level of rehabilitation and therapies she required. Although an admission of liability had been obtained from the defendant insurer at an early stage, there was no willingness from the other side to engage in funding our client’s rehabilitation. Therefore, proceedings were issued and Stuart McKechnie QC was instructed to assist on our client’s case. An application was successfully made to the court for a substantial interim payment from the defendant insurer.
Obtaining a substantial interim payment allowed an appropriate private therapy team to be set up for our client, which included a specialist brain injury case manager, experienced neuropsychologist and occupational therapist. Suitable private rental accommodation was also funded to support our client’s independent living, and a 24-hour support package was put in place.
Contributory negligence was raised by the defendant insurer against our client. Owing to the injuries sustained, our client could not remember the collision and so could not provide an account. In addition the police evidence was limited and there were no independent witnesses to the collision. However the incident was captured on the driver’s dashcam which we were able to press the defendant insurer to disclose, and an accident reconstruction expert was instructed to analyse this so the collision circumstances could be reconstructed in detail. The defendant insurer went on to make a Part 36 Offer which accounted for a 20% reduction in our client’s damages considering the contributory negligence submissions advanced. This offer was assessed as being too low and was rejected on behalf of our client.
Following a Joint Settlement Meeting with the other side, a settlement sum was agreed which allowed for a 10% reduction on account of contributory negligence. This was a favourable result for our client considering the lower value Part 36 Offer received previously. The settlement included periodical payments for a 24-hour care package, case management and private rental accommodation. This ensured that our client’s key needs were funded for throughout the reminder of her life, no matter how long she lived. As our client lacked capacity, court approval of the settlement was required. After analysis of all the evidence gathered and leading counsel’s advice, the court was satisfied this was a fair and reasonable outcome and approved the seven figure sum in settlement, in addition to a periodical payment order.
In this matter the defendant insurer was unwilling to engage in funding under the Rehabilitation Code 2015. Nevertheless, this case highlights the viability of pressing for interim payments where liability is admitted to ensure clients, no matter their age, have access to the rehabilitation and support packages they require. Our client’s claim was conducted by Partner, Damian Horan and Senior Associate, Siobhan Thomas with assistance from Associate, Adam Curry.
Moore Barlow is here to help those who have suffered a serious injury. If you need to speak with one of our expert personal injury solicitors, please call our freephone helpline on 0800 157 7611 or contact us online.