Liability agreement paves way for compensation

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Liability agreement paves way for compensation

6th May 2011

An eleventh-hour agreement has paved the way for a woman who lost a leg after she was hit by a car to receive the financial support she needs now and in the future.

Martin James, a serious injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said that a liability agreement was reached after a day and a half of a trial at Liverpool County Court, which will allow his client's claim for compensation to be dealt with quickly, and successfully.

"Before her injury, my client had been a very active woman," said Martin. "She worked, exercised regularly and was kept very busy looking after her four children. But her life was changed forever when she was hit by a car while out walking her dogs near her home," he said.

Martin, a partner with the firm, said that his client was run over in early 2007 whilst crossing a road. "She was left with a badly broken tibia and fibula, a broken nose and severe facial and other bruising, in particular to her eyes," he said. "However the injury to her leg was much worse than first thought, and despite the doctor's best efforts she developed a number of problems and infections. She was suffering intense pain, and following numerous surgeries over the months that followed she underwent a below-the-knee amputation 18 months after the incident."

Martin said that his client's claim for compensation would help her to buy a bespoke prosthetic limb, as opposed to the uncomfortable one she has been using, as well as helping her to meet the financial burden of her future care and treatment and securing help in looking after her children.

"The defendant's insurer had refused to admit liability for my client's injuries," said Martin. "They suggested that she had stepped out from a traffic island in front of the driver and was therefore responsible for the incident. Despite lengthy negotiations and attempts to agree the issue, we were forced to go to trial to prove this was not the case."

Martin said that a week before the trial, the defendant made an initial offer to split the liability between the driver and Martin's client. "They offered to agree their client was 30% liable for the incident, leaving my client with 70% of the responsibility," he said. "This was unacceptable. My client has been through a horrific ordeal, both with the aftermath of the injury and the subsequent loss of her leg. She has shown tremendous courage and character, returning to study for a new career and also working as a volunteer to help others who have been injured in such a way.

"As any liability agreement has an impact on what proportion of damages a victim receives, we felt that the defendant's offer did not reflect the extent of what we believe to be the driver's negligence. We renegotiated to ensure that our client was only held 55% responsible."

Martin said that his client was very pleased with the liability agreement. "We hope that this result will finally help to achieve justice for our client, more than four years after she was so seriously injured in this incident," he said.

"The injuries she sustained have changed her life, and the lives of her family, forever. It is now hoped that as we have agreed liability, we can also agree an appropriate settlement which takes into account the huge expenses - such as medical bills, leading prosthetics, the possible need for an adapted vehicle and any required accommodation changes - my client will undoubtedly incur over the coming years.

"While no amount of money can make up for what she has been through, we hope that she and her family will soon be able to begin to move on with their lives, safe in the knowledge that she does not need to worry about paying for her own future care and treatment."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of serious injuries which result in amputation.

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.