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May 18th 2020

Serious Injury

£300,000 damages agreed for woman in personal injury claim as settlement meeting conducted via video conference

Samuel McFadyen

Samuel McFadyen

Senior Solicitor, Personal Injury

£300,000 damages agreed for woman in personal injury claim as settlement meeting conducted via video conference

Hudgell Solicitors has successfully secured £300,000 damages for a single mother of two who was left with a long-term degenerative foot injury and lower back pain after being involved in a serious car accident.

Hudgell Solicitors has successfully secured £300,000 damages for a single mother of two who was left with a long-term degenerative foot injury and lower back pain after being involved in a serious car accident.

The 39-year old says she now intends to invest her settlement to buy a property, giving her long-term security as she has struggled to return to work long-term since her accident.

Given the current restrictions on social distancing and face-to-face meetings, the damages settlement was successfully agreed between the legal teams by utilising remote video conference call facilities.

The woman had been a passenger in a car in January 2015 when the driver suddenly lost control and spun off the road, crashing into a tree.

Aged 34 at the time, she suffered extensive injuries, including fractured ribs, fractures to her back and spine, a punctured lung, injuries and extensive bruising to her chest and arms and fractures to her ankles and many small bones in her right foot.

She was rushed to hospital by ambulance and placed in an induced coma for 24 hours, spending three days on an intensive care unit and two weeks in hospital before being discharged to initially live with her parents whilst she went through the initial stages of recovery.

The woman had to wear a back brace for six months, use a wheelchair during that time and sleep on a single bed in lounge.

Although most of her injuries have recovered well over the past four years, she continues to suffer from restricted movement and pain and swelling in her right foot and cannot walk on it for extended periods without support. Due to these continuing issues she has to wear special inserts in her shoe.

She has not been able to drive herself since and has spent significant periods of time out of employment, despite having returned to work as a cleaner.

Doctors have told her she’ll increasingly lose functionality in her right foot and will need pain-killing steroid injections in the future. Further surgery is also expected to be needed before she is 60 to stabilise her foot, by fusing a number of smaller bones together.

As part of a personal injury compensation claim through Hudgell Solicitors, the woman has been supported by a specialist rehabilitation case manager who has overseen a comprehensive package of support.

This has included private occupational therapy to assist with the purchase of aids and equipment, physiotherapy care, psychological treatment, assessment by an orthotist for the provision of orthoses and funding of a private taxi account.

Substantial Interim damages payments were also agreed and paid over the past four years to help her through times when she was unable to work due to her injuries.

Settlement agreed over video conference hearing due to lockdown

Senior solicitor Samuel McFadyen, a specialist in supporting people who suffer serious and catastrophic injuries at Hudgell Solicitors, said he was pleased to have been able to bring the case to a successful conclusion during the Covid-19 lockdown, and to secure ‘a very good settlement’ for his client.

 “This lady was involved in a very serious accident and although she has pleasingly made a very good recovery from a large number of injuries she is still hampered by the injuries to her back and right foot,” he said.

“She continues to suffer from pain, restricted mobility, discomfort and swelling which impacts on her quality of life and her ability to earn.

“She has been warned it will not get any better in the future, and indeed, she will need future surgery and care, and as a result will be at a permanent disadvantage in labour market as she struggles with any job that requires prolonged periods of standing, walking or carrying.

“Of course, we have all faced challenges as the country has been in lockdown due to Covid-19, and this case was now at the stage where set to go to trial before a judge in June.

“However, I am glad to say that we were able to arrange a Joint Settlement Meeting with the defendant, which was held via a video conference call facility, and successfully negotiate what is a very good settlement for my client.

“This case has been a good example of how we are continuing to serve our clients during this time, while ensuring that we still achieve excellent results and outcomes for our clients.”

Client praises ‘brilliant support’ and plans to invest in property

The woman, from East Yorkshire, said she was delighted with the settlement and legal support she has benefitted from.

“Sam McFadyen has been brilliant and has really helped me,” she said.

“I am really happy with the settlement and my plan is to make sure it works for me in the long term given I have been told my foot will get worse and that I’ll need more surgery.

“I’ve tried to work as much as possible since my accident as a cleaner but it became too much for me as I’d really struggle as you are on your feet for a long time and also bending over which was difficult with my back.

“I still have pains on a daily basis and suffer from swelling and pins and needles in my foot. It makes it difficult to sleep at times.

“Before the accident I was fit and healthy and I used to go to a gym and walk the dog regularly, but ever since the accident I have been largely dependent on others, and that is difficult.

“I have had tremendous support though from Hudgell Solicitors, and my family, so I am grateful. My plan is to use the money to buy my own home and have the long-term financial security that brings.”

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