£0.5m in damages for a lady who suffered multiple injuries

16 May 2023

Claire Burnell, a Principal Associate Solicitor in our Personal Injury team, secured £0.5m in damages for a lady who suffered multiple injuries in a ‘hit and run’ accident.

Mrs S, who lives in South Wales, instructed Claire Burnell to pursue a claim against the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) after a reckless driver caused her severe injuries and failed to stop.

Mrs S recalled a breezy morning in Spring 2013 when she was making her way home, having enjoyed a driving lesson on her new moped. A vehicle following closely behind her, recklessly overtook her, causing her to fall from her moped, which knocked her unconscious. The next thing she recalled waking up in the hospital with serious injuries, which included: neurological issues, multiple spinal fractures, a rib fracture, humerus fractures requiring surgery causing nerve damage, pain and loss of range of movement, injury to her knee resulting in limited mobility and psychological trauma.

Sadly, the driver of the car could not be located by the police, so Claire Burnell helped Mrs S to navigate the 9-year-long claims process against the MIB using their Untraced Drivers’ Agreement.

After the accident, Mrs S remained in the hospital for one month, but following discharge she still required her husband’s care and assistance. She was unable to drive for eight months. Life as she knew it had changed forever.

As part of the claims process, Claire Burnell was able to secure funding from the MIB for rehabilitation, which was provided to Mrs S on a private basis during the course of the claim, to assist and work alongside the NHS in providing prompt and effective treatment needs as were required to help Mrs S with achieving the best possible recovery from her injuries.

Unable to return to pre-accident employment within education due to  her injuries, Mrs S was forced however to take early retirement at the age of 55. Claire Burnell worked with Forths Forensic Accountants to calculate the years of lost earnings and pension benefits that Mrs S had lost due to being unable to work again, forcing her to retire early, and which amounted to a six-figure sum.

In addition to the financial losses suffered by Mrs S, Claire Burnell also investigated her injuries. Medical Experts were instructed over the course of the claim to examine Mrs S, including a Psychiatrist, Neurologist, Orthopaedic, Neurosurgeon and Spinal Surgeon. The experts helped to confirm Mrs S’ injuries and her prognoses which assisted the parties in agreeing an overall settlement to compensate Mrs S.

Claire Burnell says: “We encountered several hurdles along the way, and the claim would have undoubtedly been smoother had we known the identity of the driver of the vehicle, but Mrs S remained hopeful that we would see a successful end of the claim together.”

Claire goes on to recognise that “the final settlement is testimony to the fact that thoroughly exploring all avenues, results in better outcomes for our clients. We needed to gather medical evidence from experts in several disciplines to fully appreciate the impact of Mrs S’ injuries. I hope this settlement will bring closure to a challenging time of her life and allow her to enjoy her retirement time with her husband.”

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