Passenger left paralysed by spinal cord injury receives £3.5m

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Passenger left paralysed by spinal cord injury receives £3.5m

30th October 2015

A young man who was left paralysed from the neck down following a collision which tragically killed his friend has received £3.5m in an out of court settlement.

Vijay Mehan, a serious injuries specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said his client had been a front-seat passenger in a car being driven by his friend when the incident occurred more than two years ago.

“Although, my client could not remember the accident circumstances we were able to reconstruct the incident using expert forensic evidence,” said Vijay, a partner with the firm. “We do know that the car was out of control and collided with a wall, tragically killing the driver and rendering his passenger, my client, a tetraplegic.

“As a result of this tragic incident, my client, who is in his 20s, needs lifelong round-the-clock specialist care,” added Vijay. “Although he was very fortunate not to be killed himself, he suffered injuries to his brain and left shoulder as well as significant spinal cord damage which means he will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.”

Following the incident the client was taken by ambulance to hospital and placed on a ventilator. He was then transferred to a specialist spinal cord injury unit where for the next six weeks he remained in intensive care and underwent surgery on his spine. After three months of intensive rehabilitation, during which time he was visited each day by his family who provided emotional support and reassurance, he was discharged into the care of his parents.

“Prior to the accident, my client had been looking forward to moving into a property with his partner and children,” said Vijay. “However, upon being discharged from hospital, he found himself living back at home with his parents, essentially confined to a bed which had been placed in a small and cramped ground-floor living room with no accessible shower in a property that was totally unsuitable to his needs.”

After 12 months, the client moved into a local authority-provided house with his partner and children, but this too was both small and equally unsuitable.

“Although the brain injury symptoms my client suffered with have fortunately resolved, he continues to suffer ongoing pain in his left shoulder as well as multiple complications connected to his spinal cord injuries,” said Vijay. “His circulation and ability to regulate his own temperature have both been severely compromised and he has suffered significantly with pressure sores affecting both his hips and shoulders. In addition, he suffers from periodical abdominal pains, sickness and depression as well as low blood pressure and hypersensitivity - often to the point where he cannot even stand to be touched by his bed sheet.

“Having previously enjoyed various sporting activities, my client is now totally dependent on others for all aspects of his daily living,” added Vijay. “Having virtually no voluntary movement or sensation below his neck, he now requires the lifelong support of a case manager and he has complex 24 hour needs that can only be met by a team of dedicated and highly trained day and night carers specialising in the care of spinal injury patients.”

Vijay said his client is highly unlikely to ever work again and his condition is expected to deteriorate once he reaches the age of 40. “Due to the pressure sores he continues to suffer with, my client cannot even use his wheelchair or indeed sit comfortably in any chair and for almost two years now he has very sadly been confined to his bed.

“This was clearly an incredibly sad case which has had a devastating impact on all concerned,” added Vijay. “My client obviously has a catalogue of significant and very specific needs in terms of specialist wheelchair-accessible housing requirements as well as mobility, physiotherapy and professional carer needs, and we ensured that these factors formed the basis of any settlement. We are delighted that following our hard fought negotiations, the settlement he has now received will enable him to secure the best possible standard of care available to him so that he can lead as full and active a life as his injury permits.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for the families of victims of fatal accidents, severe spinal injuries and serious road traffic collisions.

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