Our serious injury solicitors took over conduct of a case that was previously being dealt with by another law firm, following a recommendation from the case management company who were providing the client’s rehabilitation programme.
On the incident date, our client was cycling to work when he was struck from behind by the Defendant’s vehicle and knocked off his bike. Unfortunately, our client had not been wearing a cycle helmet at the time of the collision and had no recollection of the accident circumstances. He sustained a severe head injury and had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance. He underwent emergency surgery to remove a subdural haemorrhage and insertion of an intracranial pressure bolt. He also sustained multiple injuries including a fracture around his eye socket and a fracture to the lower spine.
Our client remained in hospital for approximately four months where he received intensive rehabilitation and was subsequently discharged into his mother’s care. Following his discharge, he continued to suffer from ongoing cognitive and physical symptoms including eye tremor causing issues with balance, dizziness and nausea. He also suffered from issues with short-term memory loss, speech and language deficits and extreme fatigue. These symptoms impacted on our client’s daily living and ability to care for himself, so he had to initially rely on around the clock care from his family.
Although the Defendant admitted liability early on, our client had received little input by way of rehabilitation from external providers. Prior to Moore Barlow taking over the claim, some 2.5 years post-accident, the case had been poorly prepared and no expert medico-legal medical evidence had been obtained.
Help with rehabilitation
We immediately put in place a team of therapists specialising in brain injuries to facilitate our client’s rehabilitation needs and help him progress. The parties worked collaboratively with the Defendant insurer agreeing to fund our client’s rehabilitation package, with support workers who were suitably qualified to deal with a brain injured client.
We commenced court proceedings and obtained permission for expert evidence from a number of experts regarded at the top of their field including neurology, neurorehabilitation, audio-vestibular disorders, occupational therapy, care, and ENT.
We worked with the support team to encourage our client to trial a period of independent living and we liaised with the Defendant’s legal representatives and secured a substantial interim payment which enabled our client to move out from his mother’s home when he was ready and prepared him for a transition to his own property.
As our client continued his trial of independent living, he made good progress and his level of support was gradually scaled down from 24 hours a day once he demonstrated that he was able to maintain a fairly regular routine independently.
The case manager was also able to organise for our client to attend vocational activities in the community suited to his interests and hobbies pre-injury.
The Defendant put forward an initial settlement offer before the medical evidence was complete and whilst the trial of independent living was at an early stage. We therefore advised the client against settlement until we had the benefit of a final opinion from our medical experts, particularly on future care needs.
We later successfully negotiated an increased settlement offer with the Defendant for a seven figure settlement. The settlement sum was a large success for our client, given that there had been several factors complicating the potential value of our client’s claim. The Defendant argued that our client would be able to manage part-time employment and did not require the ongoing support that he was receiving in the form of physiotherapy and speech and language therapy. Furthermore, the Defendant’s experts were of the opinion that our client was capable of independent living with a nominal amount of supervisory input.
Despite the complexities, this settlement sum saw the client’s case settle for a higher amount than the offer previously put forward by the Defendant. Of paramount importance was the fact that the settlement sum afforded our client the help and support he required to continue with his life after the serious injuries he had suffered.
As our client lacked capacity and was a protected party, the final hurdle for our client’s claim was to obtain court approval of the settlement. A QC was instructed in the case and the court accepted the advice put forward on behalf of our client and approved the settlement.
Our client’s claim was conducted by Senior Partner, Damian Horan and Partner, Fadwa Errhioui with the assistance of Senior Associate, Siobhan Thomas and Associate, Niamh Hills.
At Moore Barlow we are here to help. If you need to speak to one of our expert personal injury solicitors, please call us on (+44) 023 8071 8000 or contact us online.