Amputation victim wins compensation battle

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Amputation victim wins compensation battle

28th May 2010

A motorcyclist who lost his right leg after a devastating collision with a car has received damages of £640,000 following a legal battle which lasted almost four years.

The 42-year-old man suffered catastrophic injuries when a Ford Fiesta car pulled out in front of him as was riding his Honda motorcycle in the summer of 2006. He was rushed to hospital where he received treatment for injuries including fractured ribs, a punctured lung, head injuries, deep lacerations and a dislocated collar bone. He underwent emergency surgery on his right leg, which had suffered a right open fracture of the tibia and a large area of skin loss over the calf.

Mark Thomson, a catastrophic injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, represented the motorcyclist. "During the first operation on his leg, the amount of skin lost was at least the size of a large hand and required a plastic surgical flap," he said. "My client was then transferred to another hospital where he underwent a number of further operations. Unfortunately, by August 2006 his leg had become infected. Despite the best attempts of his medical team, in March 2007 my client had to undergo a below knee amputation."

Mark, a partner with the firm, said that shortly afterwards his client began suffering severe pain and was re-admitted to hospital as the stump had become infected. "In April 2007 he underwent his seventh operation, an above the knee amputation to remove the infected part of his leg," he said.

It was in October that year that the motorcyclist instructed Fentons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation for the terrible injuries he had sustained in the collision. "Initially, the defendant's insurers admitted full liability for the accident," said Mark. "But once we began court proceedings, they attempted to withdraw their admission of liability."

A High Court hearing followed in October 2009, when Mark and his team successfully defeated the defendant's attempt to retract their previous admission.

"The Court entered judgment for our client on a 100% basis," said Mark. "But when the issue of the value of the claim was listed for trial, the defendant again tried to delay the case, making an application to have the hearing postponed until the end of the year."

Mark and his team again defeated this application, and on 21 May the insurers settled the claim.

"The damages took into account the injuries my client sustained, his loss of earnings, the future care, treatment and case management he will need, the need for an adapted vehicle and the cost of relocating to a bungalow to make his life easier," said Mark.

"Importantly, we were also able to secure an interim payment to purchase the latest technology in prosthetics for our client," added Mark. "He had struggled for a long time with a heavy and cumbersome artificial limb supplied by the NHS, which he could not use without suffering from pain in his stump. We helped source a replacement which uses a microprocessor-controlled knee and a special valve suspension which enabled him to walk unaided and free of pain. We also claimed for a water activity limb to enable him to go swimming with his children," he said.

As well as the £640,000 lump sum, Mark and his team secured annual payments which will help pay for the client's future care and treatment. His legal costs were all paid by the defendant.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims involving catastrophic injuries such as amputation arising from an accident.

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.