A young man who suffered a serious leg break in a work accident on a farm has been awarded £500,000 damages and provided with a long-term rehabilitation support package to help him rebuild his life.
The leg break was so bad that the victim was informed 16 months later that the fracture had not reunited and had become infected.
He needed further extensive surgery more than two years after first suffering the injury, in which he had an external frame screwed into a healthy part of the bone to provide rigid support and protect it from further infection.
The frame remains in place today, and may have to do so for up to another year before his leg is strong enough to consider removal and final surgery.
Damages settlement reflects huge impact injury had on life
The victim, who was 17 at the time of the accident, suffered an open tibial fracture when his right leg became trapped under a steel beam.
Samuel McFadyen, a senior solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors and a specialist in handling claims involving serious and catastrophic injuries, said it had a massive impact on the victim’s life to this day.
“My client still suffers considerably to this day both physically and emotionally following this accident, which happened more than two-and-a-half years ago,” he said.
“People see a damages figure of £500,000 and view it as a life-changing sum of money, but as in all injury claims, this settlement is a true reflection of the loss he has suffered as a result of the injury.
“The settlement covers past and future care and loss of earnings, future medical expenses and therapies, the cost of adaptions which will be required at his home, future appliances he will require and ongoing rehabilitation support.
“It also reflects the cost to his family. In cases such as this, it is rarely only the victim’s life which is forever changed in an instant, but also the lives of their family. This young man’s mother gave up her work as a teacher to look after him and provide full time care at home.”
Rehabilitation programme aims to help victim regain independence, mobility and employment
As part of a rehabilitation programme, organised for the victim as part of the legal claim, he has received private counselling to help address his low mood and was also referred to a special dietician to address a continuing lack appetite following his accident.
This resulted in him being placed on nutritional supplements to increase his vitamin D intake, known to be important for bone healing, as well as Iron supplements.
He also continues to be supported by a dedicated GP, consultant plastic surgeon, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, physiotherapist and dietician.
Today, he still has the external frame attached to his leg and has to walk on crutches when outside. He still experiences increasing levels of pain the longer he tries to stand and walk, often struggles to sleep at night and still feels ‘tired and groggy’ during the day.
At the time of his accident he was studying for A-levels, but due to his grades suffering as he was unable to attend lessons, he took up and IT apprenticeship through his local college. He had hoped to secure employment with the business where he took his apprenticeship, but they were unable to offer a job due to the uncertainly over when he’ll be fit enough to work.
“My client still faces an uncertain future but everything is now in place to give him the best possible chance in life,” added Mr McFadyen.
“He faces another year with the leg frame on, then further extensive surgery, and there remains some uncertainty as to the level of mobility he will regain. It is accepted that he’ll continue to suffer pain in his right lower limb, and this injury will continue to have a big impact on his ability to work, his social life and hobbies he previously enjoyed.
“The settlement package aims to ensure he receives the medical treatment and care he requires, help him work towards living independently again, improve his mood and sleeping patterns, continue to reduce his pains and improve his mobility so that he can start to get out and see his friends again.
“Everything from installing a shower over his bath and extra handrails at home to help his independence, to having a special mattress to help his sleeping, has been provided. This successful claim is giving this young man all the help he requires to rebuild his life, and we wish him well for the future.”
The client himself praised the support provided to him through the legal claim, and the final settlement amount.
He said: “The support I have received, particularly from the occupation therapist in terms of helping me adapt and learn to live with my injury, has been very important. Initially I didn’t expect the settlement to be so high, but I am still affected to this day and my leg is susceptible to injury.”
The legal claim was settled with company’s insurers, which admitted primary liability.