A grandmother who suffered life-changing injuries when in a head-on road accident says the support of her family – and the ‘outstanding’ help of Hudgell Solicitors – has ensured she has made the best possible recovery.
Angela Menzies sustained serious multiple orthopaedic and physical injuries in the accident, which happened in the early hours of an August 2016 morning, as a van coming the other way suddenly veered onto her side of the road and into her path.
The list of injuries she suffered was almost endless, including compound fractures to both legs, bilateral fractured knees, hips and wrists, fractured pelvis, fractured sternum, fractured right clavicle, fractured toes to her right foot, a punctured lung, fractured ribs, a stomach injury, and development of a hernia around right of her body.
Angela was in an induced coma for almost four weeks, spent four months in hospital, and was warned there was no guarantee she would walk again.
Six years of dedicated support
Over the past six years, Angela has been represented by solicitor Samuel McFadyen, of Hudgell Solicitors, who has helped ensure she has had continued support during a time when she has undergone dozens of surgical procedures.
As part of her personal injury compensation claim, he has coordinated, at the cost of the insurers of the other driver who caused the accident, an extensive rehabilitation programme of physical, psychological and financial help.
A dedicated case manager was appointed, and a multi-disciplinary team assembled to include an Occupational Therapist, Psychiatrist and Physiotherapist to help Angela adapt to the life-changing impact of her injuries, aimed at helping her maximise her recovery, become more independent and less reliant on family supervision.
Support was provided to help her sleep better and manage pain and discomfort, and adaptations were also made to the family’s three-bedroomed semi-detached home in Bradford, before a £300,000 interim payment enabled Angela and her family to buy a bungalow, providing easy access and adaptations to give her full independence at home.
Now, her legal claim has reached a final settlement, without the need to go to court.
Agreement was reached for a further substantial six-figure sum, over which she and her husband John are now being advised as to how to invest effectively, to ensure it provides for them over the long term.
Despite still needing crutches to walk short distances and a wheelchair when out for longer periods, over the past six years Angela has gradually regained more and more independence, learning to drive again in a specially adapted automatic car, and enjoying holidaying again with her family.
She says she will always be grateful for support she has received.
“I am so thankful to Samuel McFadyen and Hudgell Solicitors for the outstanding support they have given me, and for helping me get to where I am today,” she said.
“I was so unlucky in what happened to me, but also so lucky in the people I’ve had around me. It has been hard for my family, but they have all been absolutely brilliant, especially my husband John who had to give up work and become my carer. He has been so strong.
“Hudgells have been tremendous, particularly Sam. He has always been there for me, always doing the best for me and always reassuring me. He understands and he cares, and that has been so important to me. I see him more as a friend that a solicitor.
“In many ways, it’s going to be difficult adapting now that the compensation claim has come to an end, as I always had something to do, appointments to attend, and people to speak to. It gave me a focus and kept me working towards the best possible recovery.
“The settlement has come at a good time for us though, as we had become stretched financially as I only get my Personal Independence Payment and John only gets his carer’s allowance.
“The interim payments we’d had as part of the claim had helped, but we had also pretty much used up all our savings, so this has given us the financial security we need.”
Angela, 62, says it is important to ‘keep fighting’ when faced with such a life-changing situation.
“There are many dark, difficult days, but you’ve got to keep fighting,” she said.
“You can’t give up. You can feel a burden on people, especially loved ones, but hopefully, if you are like me, you’ll have family who you can rely on. I also had a fantastic team around me thanks to Hudgells, who again I could call upon and who would always help me look towards better days.
“At times it can seem like nothing will get better, but it does, and there is tremendous, kind and caring help out there. “
‘An inspirational person’
Samuel McFadyen, a Serious Injury Manager at Hudgell Solicitors, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure representing Angela over these past few years and to be see the amazing progress she has made.
“She has faced some very difficult times, having undergone many operations which have had mixed success given the seriousness of the injuries she suffered. Her rehabilitation also hindered by having major surgery delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, something again she accepted incredibly well, during a time when she was in a great deal of pain and discomfort.
“She also faces more surgery in the future, and of course more difficulties as she ages because of those injuries, but she heads into every scenario and new challenge with positivity.
“It has been great to share some real milestone moments in her rehabilitation, from beginning to walk and drive again to moving into a new bungalow which is much better suited to her needs, and has made day to day life much more comfortable for her.
“The way Angela adapted to how her life changed in an instant, and her determination to push herself and make progress, is quite inspirational, and should she ever need any further help in the future she only has to pick up the phone to us and we will be there to help in any way we can.”
Making a Serious Injury Claim
If you or a member of your family has come to harm as a result of serious injury which was of no fault of your own, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries.We put your interests first, from supporting you on your return home from hospital to ensuring the most appropriate and effective legal and medical specialists handle your claim.
Contact a member of our specialist team, if you or a loved on has suffered life-changing injuries or fatality as a result of accident, assault or medical treatment, at home or abroad.
Please download a full copy of our Life Changing Injury Handbook.