A Grandmum who was knocked down on a zebra crossing and seriously injured – breaking both her right arm and leg – has been awarded a substantial five-figure sum in compensation for her injuries and suffering.
Janet Churchley, of Boothferry Road, Hull, had been leaving work from her offices in Hull city centre when the accident happened at 5pm on a busy Saturday afternoon, in December 2011.
Her injuries left her confined to a wheelchair for three months, unable to work for close to a year, and she still has extensive scarring from surgery on her leg to this day.
She has only since been able to return to work on a part-time basis, and still feels anxious when crossing roads given the horrific experience she went through.
Having been represented in her personal injury case by Hudgell Solicitors, Mrs Churchley, has since received a high five-figure compensation pay-out, and is now finally putting it all behind her.
“I’m pretty much recovered now, although I do have some scarring, both physically and mentally as I am much more wary when crossing roads and zebra crossings,” said the grandmum of two.
“It was a horrific accident. As I work in town, I had crossed at that very same spot in Carr Lane probably hundreds of times before, so I knew what the traffic was like and how to judge it,” she said.
“I checked both ways and stepped out onto the crossing, but the next thing I knew this car came out of nowhere, crashed into my knee and all of a sudden I was up and spinning in the air.
“When I landed on the road I was in such agonising pain. Thankfully, I landed on my front, with my arms and legs hitting the ground. Had I landed on my back I would probably have been killed.
“I thought I had lost my arm, as it had been damaged so badly I couldn’t even see it. It all happened in a split second, and I remember the driver being hysterical and saying he had been momentarily distracted.”
Mrs Churchley was treated at the scene by paramedics and given air and oxygen before being rushed to Hull Royal Infirmary in an ambulance. She spent three months in a wheelchair, with her leg straightened in front of her, and was forced to sleep on the sofa downstairs for three-and-a-half months.
She says her operations to fix her injuries were ‘extremely painful’, as were the next six months at home as she began her recovery.
“I lost all of my independence,” she said. “The accident happened just before Christmas and it was particularly hard as was unable to pick up my little grandson or do anything with him really. It was really difficult and upsetting. My brother also got married soon after, and I had to attend that in a wheelchair.
“My husband had to dress, wash and shower me, and help me when I went to the toilet for the first four months after the accident. It was hard getting back to any kind of normality.”
With insurers for the driver admitting liability for the accident, Jane Woodcock, senior legal executive at Hudgell Solicitors, ensured Mrs Churchley had the very best medical care, and legal representation throughout her case.
“I was delighted with the support I had from Hudgell Solicitors. They were recommended to me and I can’t speak highly enough of the service they gave me,” said Mrs Churchley.
“Jane Woodcock in particular was excellent. She was my solicitor, and she came to see me at home firstly and told me there and then that I could contact her at any time. She was good to her word. I was always kept updated with my case, and whenever I called, Jane would get back in touch with me.
“I was sent for MRI scans and X-rays, which were arranged for me. Also, with the case taking a long time to reach an agreement, they even advanced me some funds against the final pay-out to ensure I was not left out of pocket.
“Jane also fought for me to receive extra compensation for not being able to remain in work full-time. She didn’t accept the first offer made to us, and that resulted in me receiving a better final compensation pay-out.”
Although she accepts her days of running the Race for Life, as she did before the accident, are now a thing of the past, Mrs Churchley, now 59, is now able to exercise again and is determined to stay fit.
“I’ve always been a fit person. It was upsetting because I always took pride in how I looked, and after the accident I suffered from a lot of muscle wastage, and you can still see the effect of that on my arm and leg now,” she said.
“Thankfully, I am now back exercising and I am determined to stay fit. With the compensation I received also I can now put it all behind me.”
Jane Woodcock said: “Mrs Churchley suffered very serious injuries as a result of this accident, which happened because the driver involved was not fully concentrating on the road ahead of him and simply didn’t see her.
“The accident had a huge impact on her life, causing serious levels of pain and suffering. She was effectively left disabled down her right side for many months due to the loss of use of her arm and leg, and ultimately was unable to continue working full-time and had to go to part time.
“We are delighted that Mrs Churchley has been happy with the treatment and settlement we secured for her, and we hope she can enjoy a happy, and safe life from now on.”