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Settlement victory for passenger forced to ditch career following collision
A nursery assistant who was forced to give up her dream job after injuring her back in a high-speed road collision has received £150,000 in an out of court settlement.
“My client was a rear-seat passenger in a car which collided with a tree after hitting a pothole and spinning out of control,” said Mark, an associate at the firm. “She remembers closing her eyes and tensing her body before the impact and then feeling such unbearable pain in her back and ribs that she could hardly breathe let alone exit the vehicle.”
The Kent woman was taken to hospital where scans revealed she had suffered a broken rib as well as a ‘burst fracture’ to one of her vertebrae, from which a fragment had entered her spinal canal. Over the next two weeks, she remained in hospital and underwent a bone graft as well as an operation to have supportive metalwork attached to her spine.
“Following her discharge, she was cared for at home by her family who provided help with her dressing, food preparation and personal care,” said Mark. “For the next several months, she was unable to bend down or lift anything heavy without pain and she was constantly plagued with severe backache and sleeplessness as well as a number of post-traumatic stress symptoms, which she received counselling for.”
At the time of the incident, the claimant was enjoying her career as a nursery assistant. Having always wished to work with children, she had hoped in due course to become a nursery manager. However, when she eventually returned to work after almost 18 months absence on sick leave, she found that her old job was simply too physically demanding on her back and she was consequently forced to make the difficult decision to resign.
“My client’s job required lots of lifting, carrying and bending down to assist small children,” said Mark. “Despite having received extensive physiotherapy on her back, she was simply no longer able to carry out her work without pain and unfortunately, given her ongoing symptoms, it would be extremely difficult for her to continue her career as a nursery nurse.
“Following the collision, my client became withdrawn and developed a significant travel phobia,” added Mark. “Although she has now recovered her confidence, she continues to suffer aching and soreness around her spine – symptoms she has been told are likely to remain permanent.”
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