“It’s astounding that it took the council almost two years to admit their responsibility and, had it not been for the help and support of Minster Law, I’m not sure they ever would have done.”
We proved liability
When Graham Forward was struck by a falling tree on a public road, it was clear to him and us that Kent County Council had failed to uphold its responsibility for ensuring that trees close to highways are safe. Despite that, and due to the tree itself being situated on unregistered land, the council initially refused to accept liability, claiming that routine inspections had shown no issues with the tree.
We were able to find evidence that proved the council had been notified of issues with the tree several years earlier and this was enough to ensure that Kent County Council retracted their denial and accepted responsibility. It took three years for us to secure the admission, but we never gave up fighting to get Graham the support he deserved.
Delays added further distress to the recovery period
Although, getting the council to admit liability was a positive step for Graham and his case, the delays incurred prior to that, due to the council’s stance, meant that his recovery period was more stressful than necessary.
Having sustained multiple fractures, including pelvic and spinal, as well as an abdominal hernia, the accident had a significant impact on Graham’s life. He missed out on work due to hospital stays for several operations and resulting recovery periods, and is unable to participate in many of the activities he previously enjoyed.
“Our main focus is to find ways that Graham’s quality of life can be improved so that he can move on positively from what’s happened.”
Minster Law Solicitor, David Sears, was not surprised to be met with a denial of liability, having been met with the situation several times before, but his focus remained on providing the best support possible for Graham at all stages of the claim.
As soon as the council’s admission was secured, David Sears, and his team worked successfully on securing an interim payment for Graham to cover day-to-day expenses for the recovery period of his next surgery. Thorough medical investigation is ongoing to ensure that the full extent of injuries is taken into account when securing the final settlement and care package.