Personal Injury
Serious Injury

£230,000 compensation for Northamptonshire man left unable to work due to injuries suffered in serious road accident

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Jolene Cunningham

Chartered Legal Executive

6 min read time

A 59-year-old man left unable to return to his job as an engineer due to the multiple injuries he suffered in a serious road accident has been awarded £230,000 compensation.

Vince Taylor, of Newbury, says he feels ‘lucky to have survived’ a horror smash which left him with multiple fractures and long-lasting psychological injuries.

Almost three years on from the accident, he says it has been difficult to adapt to a life with his mobility badly affected, preventing him from returning to employment, and forcing him to give up hobbies and pastimes.

He had been the passenger in a works van, on a February afternoon in 2020, which was hit from the side by a car at around 60mph in Main Street, Cotterstock Northamptonshire.

The driver, a work colleague, had pulled out onto an A road, mistakenly failing to stop at a give-way junction. The van rolled, due to the force of the collision, and such was the damage, it was hours before emergency services could free Mr Taylor from the wreckage by removing the windscreen.

His pelvis was broken in two places, he suffered breaks also to his vertebra and ribs and was left with a deep cut above his eye. He also suffered a burst hernia, which had been operated on just a few months earlier. He has since faced a long and slow recovery, and almost three years later, is still not fit enough to return to work.

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‘Lucky to have survived’

I’d never been involved in a road accident in all of my life and then, in seconds, my life changed.

I didn’t blame my colleague who was driving, it was just one of those things. The sun was low and he just didn’t realise that he should have given way at that point. He went straight on at the junction. It was a mistake.

I caught a glimpse of the car heading towards us in my left eye at the very last second. The next thing I really remember is being freed from the wreckage, in agonising pain. It was unbearable until they finally put me on effective painkillers in hospital.

In many ways I think I was lucky not to suffer worse, life-threatening injuries, perhaps even to survive, as I took the full impact of the collision and seatbelts have little impact from the side.

The driver of the car was injured, but I saw her up and walking in hospital after a week or so. My colleague was completely unharmed. In reality we were all fortunate to come away as we did, although of course my injuries have made life very difficult for the past three years.

I’ve had to rely hugely on my family. My wife, Gill, has been amazing, and my son helped me a lot in the months afterwards. It has an impact on everybody.

Employer advised to claim compensation

Mr Taylor says his employer, a small business, made it clear from the start that they would be unable to continue paying his salary beyond statutory sick pay requirements and advised him to make a claim against the company’s insurance.

It was then that he contacted Hudgell Solicitors, from his hospital bed, and a case was made on his behalf alleging negligent driving. Liability was admitted, paving the way for the six-figure damages settlement to be agreed out of court.

My boss came to see me and told me to claim against the business. I’m glad I did as if I hadn’t I would have had to have been laid off, because when I did try and return to work I just wasn’t physically able to do the job, and had to leave in July 2021.

I made the call to the solicitors when I was in my hospital bed. They helped me secure benefit payments for industrial injury, but apart from that we’ve had to live off what my wife earns and some savings that we had.

That has put pressure on us, so this final damages settlement has been really needed, especially as I’m still not physically fit enough to return to the type of work I know.

My former boss has said I can go back if I do get fit and well enough again, but I just don’t know when that will be. I still can’t walk more than 100 yards, and I have constant pains in my hips and my back, which I have been told is linked to the injuries I suffered to my vertebra. My hernia injury has also caused complications and has never fully repaired.

I used to enjoy my work, going fishing and playing golf, but I’ve been able to do none of those since.

Legal claim covered loss of earnings and cost of therapy

Jolene Cunningham, a specialist in personal injury compensation claims at Hudgell Solicitors, said: “This was a horrific accident, as the photographs show.

As he rightly says, he was perhaps lucky not to suffer any life-threatening injuries, but they certainly were life-changing.

We were pleased to be able to secure a damages settlement which reflects the impact on his life, his loss of earnings, whilst also providing funds to access therapy treatment to further assist his recovery.

As part of Hudgell Solicitors’ Serious Injury support package, Mr Taylor has now been offered a free, no obligation consultation with specialist financial advisors, looking into issues such as financial planning, budgeting and investment opportunities.

I’m certainly going to invest this money and ensure it works for us now.

We’ll treat ourselves a bit as well, as I think we deserve it. We’re grateful to Hudgells for all their support. They were there for me every step of the way and always there for me when I needed anything. They have got a good result for us.

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