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Substantial damages for man forced to leave Army due to crash injuries
A Hampshire man whose Army career was effectively ended when the car he was a passenger in collided with a tree, has received £627,000 in an out of court settlement.
Karen Hayes, a road traffic collisions expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said her client, who is in his 30s, was a passenger in the back seat of a car that span out of control while rounding a bend, slid down an embankment and collided with a tree.
“My client, who brought a claim against the driver’s insurance company, clearly remembers the terrifying screech of the engine as the car slid down the embankment,” said Karen, an associate with the firm. “He particularly remembers a line of trees coming towards him at speed and can vaguely recall the smell of burnt rubber and petrol as well as the sound of the firemen cutting through the wreckage to release him. His next clear memory is of waking up in hospital under the bright lights of an operating theatre, terrified, covered in blood and with doctors frantically cutting the clothes from his body.”
The claimant, who suffered numerous injuries including facial lacerations, a head wound, a broken nose, dental damage and soft tissue injuries to his neck and lower back, was transferred to a military hospital for four days, before being discharged back to his barracks.
“Following his return to barracks, my client began experiencing spells of extreme dizziness up to five times each and every day,” said Karen. “He couldn’t lie flat without feeling sick and suffered stabbing pains in his neck, lower back and along each of his arms that not only prevented him from sleeping but also hindered his ability to perform the type of intense physical training required of him as a soldier.
“Over the next few months, my client started getting panic attacks, flashbacks and nightmares about the crash on an almost daily basis,” added Karen. “The pain in his neck and back began spreading to his legs and after undergoing intensive bouts of physiotherapy which unfortunately proved ineffective, he was transferred to a desk job. His pain however, then became so severe that even sitting down for more than half an hour proved too much and he was diagnosed with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and a form of vertigo linked to traumatic concussion injuries.”
The claimant was eventually discharged from the Army on medical grounds and has not been able to work since.
“My client now lives with regular bouts of dizziness and chronic pain,” said Karen. “He is unable to walk for more than 200 metres and he cannot even bend down or lift anything heavy. Despite undergoing extensive psychiatric treatment, he still suffers from a range of debilitating psychological issues associated with the crash and as he continues to seek treatment, it is very much hoped the settlement he has now received will help as he finds his way to recovery.”
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