£3 million settlement for elderly woman left with devastating injuries after collision

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£3 million settlement for elderly woman left with devastating injuries after collision

6th February 2013

An elderly woman left with a serious brain injury and physically impaired when she was hit by a car whilst crossing the road, has settled her claim for more than £3,000,000.

Nick Godwin, a partner with the catastrophic injuries department of Fentons Solicitors, said the settlement comprised a lump sum payment of more than £1,000,000, together with periodical payments to fund her ongoing care needs for the rest of her life.

 “This was a truly horrific incident, in which my client and members of her family were struck by a car whilst they were using a zebra crossing near their home,” said Nick. “Although they were all struck by the defendant just after they stepped on to the crossing, my client bore the brunt of the impact. She tragically sustained a catastrophic brain injury with complete right-sided hemiparesis – a weakness on one side of the body – together with various other brain injury symptoms, including epilepsy.”

Nick said as soon as he was instructed to represent the victim he secured an early interim payment of £10,000. “After initially spending about four months in hospital, the claimant, who was in her late 60s, was discharged to her home which was now completely unsuitable for her vastly changed needs, with only minimal local authority care,” he said. “We obtained another interim payment, this time £100,000, which we used to instruct a case manager and source and secure a more suitable property - adapted specifically for a catastrophically injured person - just a few miles away from the family home.”

“A further interim payment of £100,000 just a year or so later enabled the claimant to purchase an up-to-date wheelchair and rent a suitable vehicle,” he said. “This latest interim payment also allowed my client’s case manager to begin putting together a package of paid-for professional care that she needed and will continue to need for the rest of her life.”

Nick said that throughout this time, he and his colleague who assisted on the case, solicitor, Anne Lankester, had continued to obtain expert evidence from various experts in neurology, neuro-rehabilitation, speech therapy and physiotherapy, amongst others, which, when combined with the admission of liability from the defendant’s insurers, gave his client a compelling case.

“Although the driver pleaded guilty to driving offences and the criminal case concluded, my client’s civil claim was still scheduled to go to trial,” said Nick. “But thankfully her family were spared that ordeal when the defendant’s insurers agreed to settle the claim in full just a few weeks prior to trial.”

The settlement was agreed in the form of a lump sum of £1.2 million, less the interim payments of £210,000 already received. “We also secured a large annual payment order in the amount of £168,000 to pay for her ongoing care and case management,” said Nick, “as well as a further £9,000 per year to meet the costs of a professional deputy, to manage her finances and affairs as due to her brain injury she is no longer able to do so herself”

Based on her life expectancy, the total value of the settlement is therefore £3,147,000. “Whilst the size of the settlement is not, in itself, groundbreaking, it is a significant sum given her age and, more importantly, it will ensure that my client’s future quality of life is maintained and that she obtains the care and assistance she needs for the rest of her life,” said Nick, who also successfully settled claims on behalf of the other family members for the injuries they sustained in the incident.

“Whilst no amount of compensation can make up for what she – and her family – have been through in recent years,” said Nick, “it does ensure that she can receive the best quality of care in the future, and can concentrate on learning to live with her disability without fears over her financial security.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of serious head 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