£1.35m settlement for accident victim

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£1.35m settlement for accident victim

17th August 2010

A man who suffered severe head and spinal injuries when he was knocked from his motorcycle has received £1.35m in an out of court settlement.

The Fentons client was on his way to work when a vehicle suddenly turned directly across his path as it made its way into a building site entrance.

Stephen Hill, a serious injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP who represented the victim, said his client had been lucky to survive the collision. "He collided with the side of the other vehicle and was thrown through the air on to the windshield of a car behind it, bouncing off the car bonnet and landing at the side of the road," said Stephen, an associate with the firm. "He was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment and remained in intensive care for several days."

Stephen said his client suffered a catalogue of injuries in the incident. "He suffered fractures to his back, broken ribs - which punctured both lungs, he smashed his shoulder and is unable to move his arm properly," said Stephen. "He fractured and dislocated his pelvis and was put in traction through his thigh. He suffered internal damage to his spleen, had cuts and bruises all over his body, and damaged the blood supply to his teeth. He also sustained a significant head injury, which when investigated further revealed a bleed on the brain."

The victim, who was in his 40s at the time of the incident, spent more than six weeks in hospital as a result of his injuries.

"After he was released from hospital, he said that he began to feel like he was no longer the same person," said Stephen. "He was losing his temper for no apparent reason, and struggling with his short-term memory. He suffered a loss of concentration, so much so that he could not even watch the television."

"He suffered headaches, and was in a lot of physical pain. He had hoped to return to work, if only on a part-time basis, but was in too much pain - particularly with his shoulder," said Stephen. "He was suffering dizzy spells and has had to undergo numerous operations and sessions of physiotherapy since the incident."

Stephen explained that proceedings were brought against two defendants in this case; Balfour Beatty Power Networks Ltd, who employed the driver of the other vehicle, and ABB Ltd who had overall control of the site and the safety of people in and around it.

"As liability was initially denied in full, the matter proceeded to a five-day hearing for a judge to decide on the issue," said Stephen. "After the fourth day, ABB Ltd conceded liability, but Balfour Beatty Power Networks Ltd still refused to do so. The judge in the case ruled that the claimant had successfully proved his case against both defendants, and that they should each pay 50% of the Claimant's damages, subject to a deduction of just 15% for contributory negligence.

Stephen explained his client had sustained devastating injuries. "The spinal injury has left him suffering constant pain which moves up and down his back and across his shoulder blades," he said. "The pain intensifies if he sits for more than 30 minutes. As a result he is unable to work, attend to household chores, play sports or exercise. His balance is poor and he is categorised as having a severe disability. He is considered to have reached the end point of any spontaneous improvement and will never be able to work again."

Stephen also explained that the severe head injury his client sustained has led to brain damage. "He suffers daily headaches and has reduced powers of concentration, attention and memory," said Stephen. "He has emotional disturbance and there is the possibility he will go on to develop post-traumatic epilepsy. Even without his physical injuries, he could not cope returning to his previous work, and he is now at a very serious disadvantage on the open labour market."

Following lengthy negotiations, Stephen settled the claim on behalf of his client for the gross amount of £1,350,000.

"The damages took into account the injuries my client sustained, his loss of earnings, the future care, treatment and case management he will need, adaptations to his home and specialist equipment he might need to make hislife easier," said Stephen.

"My client and his family have been through a terrible ordeal, and he will never recover from the injuries he suffered, but hopefully this settlement will help him adapt to the challenges he will face as he looks to move on with his life."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of serious spinal and brain injuries.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.