The Serious Injury Team at Moore Barlow has recently obtained a six-figure sum in settlement for our client following a road traffic collision in which he suffered extensive lower limb injuries.
On the day of the collision, our client was driving a refuse lorry along a winding country lane, which passed between agricultural fields. The road was covered in mud and slurry which had been deposited by the Defendant, driving a tractor and trailer in and out of adjacent fields. It was our client’s case that he had applied his brakes and intended to stop when he first saw the tractor, but due to the presence of the mud he was unable to bring his vehicle to a halt, skidded and consequently collided with the tractor. Our client suffered a severe crushing injury to his lower leg which required fixation surgery and skin grafting and claimed for damages for personal injuries and consequential losses as a result.
Our client was extracted from the lorry and taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital, where he immediately underwent surgery to address his orthopaedic injuries. After initial treatment, he was transferred to Salisbury Hospital one week later for a skin graft. He was then discharged home one month after the accident. His leg was put in an external fixator frame and he used crutches for support. His leg remained in the frame for almost 6 months while his injuries began to heal.
Help with rehabilitation
Despite there being disagreement between the parties and the issue of liability being strongly contested, both parties were able to work collaboratively under the Rehabilitation Code. A Case Manager was appointed who provided an Immediate Needs Assessment report, which helped to identify our client’s ongoing symptoms and made various recommendations to assist our client’s ongoing recovery.
Notwithstanding the denial of liability, we secured early funding from the Defendant insurer to provide physiotherapy sessions, gym membership and a gym programme which helped improve our client’s strength and mobility, plus provide some relief of discomfort in his lower right leg and foot. The rehabilitation process also included counselling to help with our client’s psychological symptoms of low mood, nightmares and flashbacks following the injury.
The claim process
Liability remained in dispute and we therefore instructed a barrister to prepare the case for court proceedings. An accident reconstruction expert was also instructed to analyse the police evidence so that the accident circumstances could be reconstructed in detail.
Despite the Defendant Insurer repudiating the claim in full, we proceeded to gather evidence in relation to quantum, to enable us to evaluate the claim fully. Medical evidence was obtained in the fields of orthopaedics, plastic surgery, vascular surgery, neurology, pain management and psychiatry to address the range of injuries our client had suffered.
We subsequently issued court proceedings and the case was set down for a preliminary trial on the issue of liability.
Whilst the Defendant Insurer’s intention was to focus primarily on liability, we were able to successfully negotiate a full settlement and achieve a six-figure sum at a Pre Trial Settlement Hearing shortly before the liability trial. This was a favourable settlement and also a huge relief for our client, as it meant that the additional stress of further litigation could be avoided.
Our client’s claim was conducted by Senior Associate, Siobhan Thomas and Associate, Niamh Hills. With thanks to Simon Brindle of Counsel, 9 Gough Chambers.
How Moore Barlow can help
If you’ve suffered a serious injury which wasn’t your fault, please contact our expert team of personal injury lawyers on our freephone helpline number 0800 157 7611 or contact us online.