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Collaborative approach sees a smooth claims journey for client left paraplegic

David Sears

Working closely with the third-party insurers saw a smooth seven-figure settlement for a client left paraplegic following a serious motorcycle accident.

A collaborative, non-confrontational approach adopted between both parties assisted our client’s journey throughout his claim and led to the claim concluding without the need for court proceedings to be issued.

The lack of litigation saved legal costs and took at least 12-months off the potential time that it could have taken to settle the claim.

Our client was delighted with his settlement and said himself and his wife are now “looking forward to our next chapter in life”.

The client initially came to Minster Law following a motorbike accident which saw him suffer a complete spinal cord injury to the thoracic spine at T7, an incomplete cervical spinal cord injury at C5, bony fractures to the spine, a traumatic brain injury and clavicular and scapula injuries.

Prior to the accident, our client was fit and healthy and enjoyed a very social and active lifestyle including working, motorcycling, and socialising with friends and family.

As a result of his injuries, he is now rendered paraplegic and has no sensation or voluntary movement from the lower chest downwards. Our client has suffered from muscle wasting and weakness in his upper limbs.

Openness on the key liability issues contributed to the early resolution of primary liability and both parties ultimately agreeing on the level of the parties’ respective fault.

The early resolution of primary liability allowed Associate solicitor David Sears to focus on early rehabilitation and working collaboratively with the defendant’s representatives secured significant interim payments which were used towards replacing our client’s lost earnings to ensure himself and his family were not in financial distress during his hospitalisation.

Our client was very grateful for being able to access interim payments and the benefit that this brought to him and his family.

In particular having early access to interim payments was very helpful and meant that I could secure alternative accommodation as well as ensuring access to high-quality rehabilitation, case management support and suitable transport,” he said.

We arranged for an early assessment by an experienced Case Manager who along with David ensured that on the client’s discharge from the hospital he had access to excellent support, aids and equipment to assist him in his daily life, neuro-physiotherapy, transportation, wheelchair support and domestic assistance.

At the time of the accident, our client was living in a property that was entirely unsuitable for his new circumstances.

The interim payments secured at that early stage allowed him to access to single-level accommodation, pending him finding a definitive adapted property.

He is now heavily reliant on care and equipment, more so than a paraplegic with a good upper limb function, he has not been able to return to work and his pre-accident home is no longer suitable for his needs.

The care funded by the claim has allowed our client to be able to maximise his independence and his ability to access his community and engage in activities such as going to the gym.

The collaborative approach by the parties ensured that interim payments continued to be accessed throughout the claim and our client therefore had access to high-quality rehabilitation and in particular, neuro-physiotherapy, a tailored gym programme with a personal trainer and hydrotherapy.

He has also been able to purchase a wheelchair adapted vehicle and following some improvement in his general condition, and having more recently been assessed as being fit to drive, is purchasing a fully adapted vehicle that will enable him to drive when he wishes to do so.

Our client was able to purchase a wheelchair fitted with power-assist so he can wheel for longer distances than he would in a manual only wheelchair, and this has meant he has not had to use a powered chair.

The interim payments also allowed our client to go on a cruise and other holidays with his wife and with assistance from his support workers.

Our client was also able to travel to visit his family and his grandchildren.

More recently he has trialled exoskeletons, which it is hoped will provide rehabilitation potential but also allow him to be able to stand and walk either inside an adapted home or, depending on the final choice, even outside the home.

Our client was also pleased with the way his case was handled.

He said that from the beginning he had received excellent service” from Minster Law and had “always felt very well informed”.

He said the knowledge and reassurance he received through emails and telephone conversations meant his wife and himself have always felt at ease.

Our client also thanked David for the time and patience taken to support himself and his wife during the upsetting parts of the case, with professionalism and empathy that was outstanding”.