Damages for man injured when hit by car as a teenager

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Damages for man injured when hit by car as a teenager

8th November 2012

A South London man who was left with one leg shorter than the other after being struck by a car as a teenager, has received £35,000 in an out of court settlement.

Tristan Alder
, a serious injury specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the case took nearly six years to conclude as liability was disputed and medical experts had to wait until the client’s injuries had settled before they could properly assess his condition.

“My client had just stepped out onto a pedestrian crossing near his home when a car, which had failed to stop, clipped his right leg as it passed,” said Tristan, a solicitor with the firm. “The force of the impact knocked him to the ground where he landed hard on his right leg.

“The motorist stopped immediately and claimed not to have seen him step onto the crossing, even though the weather was fine and visibility was good,” said Tristan. “Meanwhile, another man who had witnessed the incident telephoned the emergency services - and also my client’s mother - to report what had happened to her son.”

When an ambulance took the injured teenager to hospital, an x-ray revealed he had broken his right leg above the knee. Over the next six weeks, he was cared for at home by his mother and after wearing a hip-to-ankle cast followed by a splint, he was given crutches which he used intermittently until the break in his leg was believed to have healed.

“Despite doctors telling my client that his leg had healed, his right foot began turning outwards whenever he walked and he continued to suffer ongoing pain and swelling around the inside of his knee,” said Tristan. “The pain, which could last for several hours at a time, was particularly severe following any kind of exercise and he would often struggle to even get out of bed in the mornings if he had exercised the day before.”
Although the claimant underwent extensive physiotherapy to train his right foot not to turn outwards when he walked, the pain and swelling around his knee refused to subside. This made walking often extremely painful and completely ruled out activities such as running, cycling and playing football.

“My client is now in his 20s and has grown considerably since his accident,” said Tristan. “However, due to the way the bones in his leg healed at the time, his right leg is now nearly three centimetres shorter than his left. This has unfortunately led to significant problems with lower back pain as well as continuing pain, stiffness and general discomfort in and around his knee.”

Before his injuries, the claimant was a keen basketball player who had played for his school team as well as for his local basketball club, training regularly and competing in matches every weekend. Sadly, he has now been advised against participating in any kind of contact sports as his leg remains weak and could easily be dislocated.

“My client used to live and breathe sport and it was something he was keen to build a career in,” said Tristan. “Unfortunately however, due to his injuries, he now has to reassess what he wants to do with his life. In addition, he has been advised to undergo surgery to have his thigh bone lengthened as without treatment, his knee condition will deteriorate and he could end up suffering persistent back pain for the rest of his life.”

After liability was finally admitted in full and arguments regarding contributory negligence were dropped, Tristan settled the claim on behalf of his client for £35,000 in September 2012.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for individuals who sustain serious injuries in road traffic accidents.

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.