Experience in handling military cases and securing a specialist team with military knowledge helped Minster Law associate solicitor Philip Austick to get the best result for his client.
In early 2016 an RAF corporal was traveling towards York on the A64 when a vehicle traveling in the other direction crossed the centre line and collided with the front of his vehicle.
His vehicle was flipped onto its roof before completely leaving the road and coming to rest in a wooded area at the roadside.
He had suffered a fracture to his lower right leg, extending into his right ankle, and minor injuries to his shoulder and hands.
The accident also left him with psychological injuries, resulting in a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“This was a challenging and complex case from the outset with liability being entirely denied by the other party and no independent witness who saw the collision between the two vehicles,” Philip said.
Despite liability not being admitted at the outset rehabilitation was put into place to assist and promote recovery, with both physiotherapy and psychotherapy implemented.
The support he was provided with enabled him to deal with the period of uncertainty where he was being held responsible for a situation where he was entirely blameless.
Philip said with “persistence and determination to get to the truth, evidence was slowly gathered to piece together what happened and eventually liability was conceded by the other driver”.
This persistence included challenging the available evidence and pursuing additional enquiries through the police enabling Philip to secure evidence that was not otherwise contained in the collision investigation report.
The evidence, such as the damage to the vehicles and the debris on the road, allowed an engineer and reconstruction expert to piece together what had actually happened.
This saw the Third Party Insure move from a position of 100% denial to a 50/50 offer and then finally an admission of 100% liability.
“The case presented its challenges when it came to calculating a settlement,” Philip said.
The client had been with the RAF for 13-years and had resigned a week before the collision, intending to pursue a career in the private sector in the renewable energy field.
His intentions to work on wind turbines, after gaining skills as a climber in the RAF for climbing radar installations, were no longer possible following the accident.
The effect of his ankle injury resulted in him having to withdraw his resignation and upon returning to work he was downgraded from an active role to a desk-based job.
The injuries he had received were impacting not only his work within the RAF but also work he could look to pursue in the private sector.
“Having experience in handling cases involving serving military personnel and building a specialist team with military knowledge and background, it allowed for a better understanding and support for him at a time when he needed such support,” Philip said.
Philip was able to gather evidence on what career prospects the client might have had outside of the RAF as well as how his career could have progressed within military service.
He was able to provide our client with a knowledge base that reflected the specific requirements of someone serving in the RAF.
“Being able to identify and get the specialist team together has certainly benefitted to the successful outcome of his claim,” Philip said.
The client’s initial expectations for the settlement were low, with his final settlement being more than 10 times what he was anticipating.
His confidence in Philip and his team at Minster Law meant that he allowed him to negotiate for an excellent outcome, even when the first offer exceeded his own expectations.
These further negotiations led to an even greater outcome than an already surpassed expectation.
“I would highly recommend Philip Austick and his team at Minster Law,” the client said.
“From the very beginning, he not only gave me the confidence he could win the case, but he also secured funding for private physiotherapists and psychologists to assist my rehabilitation process.”
He said the specialist knowledge held by Philip, who appointed and Orthopaedic Surgeon and Barrister from an ex-military background, gave his reports credibility.
“I was kept fully informed throughout the four years of the claim with regular face to face meetings and telephone conversations.
“He genuinely cared for my well-being.”
He described the service, communication and expertise he received from Philip and his team as “second to none”
“After 4-years I am so relieved it has finished and I could never have imagined a six-figure settlement,” he said.