A part-time actor has been awarded £35,000 compensation after suffering facial injuries in a car crash, leaving him unable to audition for roles in television programmes and advertisements.
The 50-year-old father of two, who also works as a medical professional, was being driven home from a party in the early hours when the car veered across a motorway, colliding with a lorry before hitting the central reservation.
He was a front passenger seat at the time and suffered a facial fracture which required surgery, and cuts to his face, as well as neck and shoulder injuries.
Although discharged after two days in hospital, he had to return for further facial surgery on a second fracture, before a collection of blood then led to his stitches opening, leaving him with visible injuries.
Now, after legal representation from personal injury specialists Hudgell Solicitors, the man, who has asked not to be identified, has been awarded £35,000 compensation from the driver’s insurers, to compensate him for his injuries and lost earnings.
Matthew Tuff, a senior solicitor who specialises in handling claims of serious injury, said although the injuries had not affected the man’s long-term medical career, it had impacted on his earnings, and restricted his work as a part-time actor, as he had to turn down at least three auditions and was unable to be put forward for others.
“As a result of the injuries our client suffered in this accident, he was unable to audition for roles due to the cuts on his face, which were initially very serious and visible,” he said.
“It was our role in this case to look to recover those losses for him and, although the loss of earnings part of the case was complex and heavily disputed by the defendants, I am delighted to say we managed to negotiate a good settlement which meant our client did not suffer financially, as well as physically, from the accident.
“Fortunately, although a very traumatic incident, he didn’t suffer from any significant psychological damage either as a result, so it was a very good outcome for him from a very bad accident.”
The man, who lives in Buckinghamshire, does not remember many details of the accident itself, and says he feels lucky to be alive.
He told his story as this month marks National Road Safety Month, led by road safety charity Road Peace to encourage all to remember those killed or injured on our roads, and to take greater care when driving.
“We’d had had a nice night out with friends and I remember we were driving home,” he said.
“The next thing I remember is being in an ambulance and ending up in hospital with deep cuts to my face.
“On my forehead, where there was a very deep gash, it is still numb and probably always will be. I don’t have full sensation in that area and I have some stiffness in my neck, and there is a limit to how much you can regain. But thankfully, it doesn’t restrict my life.
“It has probably had a positive impact on me because I have faced something that could have potentially killed me and, thankfully, I walked away from it.
“The accident came during the time of the Olympics. It was a busy time and I had a number of auditions which I couldn’t go to.”
The actor, who had physiotherapy through the NHS following the accident, said he could not speak highly enough of how the case was handled by Hudgell Solicitors, and Mr Tuff in particular.
“Matthew work was really professional and meticulous, and the firm was brilliant,” he said.
“Matthew has been easy to contact and it’s never ever been a case of ‘let’s try and get as much out of the insurers as possible’, or ‘let’s take anyone to the cleaners’, it has been about me and what I needed.
“He kept me informed of precisely what was happening, was very accurate and always responded to my queries.
“Quite often big law firms can be very impersonal, and my experience of big firms is that you’re not really talking to the person in charge of the case. You deal with a paralegal, rather than the named solicitor.
“That hasn’t happened in this case and I have been kept in touch all the way. It’s not been a really formal relationship as such, and I have been able to talk to Matthew openly.
“I have been really impressed with the service and I’m very happy with the compensation secured.”
The actor said although the driver of the car has physically recovered from the accident, she has had a fear of driving since the crash, which happened just a few miles from his home.
He said: “We had a close call and we were lucky to survive.”