Young woman permanently injured in collision receives damages

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Young woman permanently injured in collision receives damages

12th April 2011

A young woman left with a permanent back injury after the car she was travelling in was involved in a serious collision, has received £245,000 in an out of court settlement.

The beautician, who was 18 at the time, was a front-seat passenger in her friend's Renault Mégane when the driver lost control of her vehicle and crossed the central reservation at over 50mph. Stephen Hill, a serious injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said his client was injured when her friend's car first collided with a minibus, travelling in the opposite direction at approximately 50 miles per hour, before being hit by a second vehicle.

"The force of the initial impact with the minibus caused the defendant's car to spin," said Stephen, an Associate with the firm. "It was hit again almost immediately by a Ford Ka, leaving my client with serious injuries."

The young woman sustained fractures to the T7 and T8 vertebrae in her spine, leaving her with persistent spinal pain. "The pain is made worse with bending, lifting or stooping and during periods of sitting or standing," said Stephen. "As my client is a beautician, her pain is obviously made worse by her activities at work."

Stephen said his client had been forced to reduce her working hours as a direct result of her injuries. "She is now only able to work on alternate days, and under the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act should be classified as a Disabled Person," he said. "She will never be able to return to full time work."

As well as fracturing her vertebrae, the young victim also sustained a mild brain injury. "She now suffers from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks because of this incident," said Stephen.

"Our medical evidence showed that her symptoms - including flashbacks, nightmares, increased anxiety and panic attacks - were due to Significant Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She has since undergone treatment and therapy but will require more in the future.

"As a result of her injuries and PTSD, we claimed for past and future loss of earnings, to take account of the period when she was unable to work immediately following the accident, and also the period from her return to work up to the date of settlement - when she was only able to work part time," said Stephen. "This included an adjustment for the difference between her part time wages and her estimated future full time wages.

"We also claimed for the care and assistance that she received from her family and friends, both for the period after the accident when she received significant assistance, and also for any future care she might need," said Stephen. "This includes any extra assistance she will need after the birth of the children that she hopes to have, as well as for aids and equipment to help her look after her children."

The Defendant made interim payments throughout the claim, in the sum of £24,500. Following lengthy negotiations, Stephen settled the claim for his client in the amount of £245,000.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of road traffic accidents and serious spinal injuries.

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.