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Pensioner with serious back injury receives £115,000 following road collision
A pensioner who suffered a permanent injury to her spine in a road collision which also left the driver disabled, has received £115,000 in an out of court settlement.
Susan Bennett, a serious injuries specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the Sussex woman, who is in her 70s, was knocked unconscious in the collision and suffered a severe ‘wedge fracture’ to one of her vertebrae – an injury which has permanently angulated her spine.
“My client, who cannot remember anything about the incident itself, was a front-seat passenger at the time,” said Susan. “Although she can remember their car approaching a roundabout, her next memory is of waking up in hospital in significant pain.
“According to witnesses, the driver lost control of the car and collided with another vehicle before hitting a wall,” added Susan. “The two were then taken by ambulance to hospital with my client diagnosed as having suffered a broken vertebrae, collarbone, wrist and little finger as well as extensive bruising to her face, chest and abdomen.”
Having spent a night in hospital under observation, the elderly woman was assessed the following day and sent home with her wrist in a cast and a back brace placed around her shoulders. In the weeks following her return home, her back remained so painful that she was unable to wear the brace and was taking painkillers every few hours to prevent the pain from becoming unbearable.
As a result, sleeping and even general movement became extremely difficult and as she was only able to get up and down the stairs on her knees she had to have a stairlift installed. In addition, the concussion blow that she received to her face - which damaged teeth on the right side of her jaw requiring subsequent dental surgery - caused her bouts of dizziness, problems articulating and loss of short-term memory.
“Over the next several months, although she was unable to carry anything heavy or go outside without a walking stick, she was fortunate in that she received assistance from a neighbour who was able to help with grocery shopping, cooking and driving her to hospital appointments,” said Susan.
Despite having received extensive physiotherapy for her hand, wrist and back, the woman has continued to suffer intense pain up and down her spine with pain-related sleeplessness a common occurrence as well as pain when walking, getting out of bed each morning, lifting anything heavy and climbing stairs.
“The injuries my client suffered have had a profound effect upon her life,” said Susan. Since the accident, the vertebra she fractured has unfortunately collapsed due to the damage it sustained in the collision. This has caused her spine to angle forwards, a condition that is permanent and may well deteriorate further.
“As a result, she continues to suffer severe back pain upon bending, standing and when lying down which dramatically impairs her day-to-day life,” added Susan. “Sadly because of her advanced years there is no suitable treatment now and her resulting pain and stiffness will persist for the rest of her life”.
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