£1.5m in damages for ‘hit and run’ victim

30 June 2023

Claire Burnell, a Principal Associate Solicitor in our  Personal Injury team, a specialist in handling serious and catastrophic injury claims, secured £1.5m in damages for a man who suffered multiple injuries in a ‘hit and run’ accident. 

Mr M, who lives in the West Midlands, instructed Claire Burnell to pursue a claim against the  Motor Insurers’ Bureau (‘MIB’) after a reckless driver failed to stop at the scene and caused Mr M to sustain severe injuries and loss. 

The accident happened on a Sunday morning whilst Mr M was riding his scooter to a friend’s home. The route, a country road with winding bends, was very familiar to Mr M as he used it often. Notwithstanding his teenage years, Mr M was already an experienced and careful motorcyclist. However, after exiting a corner, a white van driving too fast and in the middle of the road, clipped Mr M’s leg knocking him off his scooter and causing him to sustain life-changing injuries.

Fortunately, a passer-by was soon on the scene and called for an ambulance to take Mr M to the hospital for emergency treatment.

Mr M had suffered serious fractures to his leg and knee involving distal femur, intercondylar and lateral condyle fractures, and damage to his growth plate.  

Surgery performed involved an open reduction internal fixation of the fractures, and a K-wire was used to stabilise the bones into place, requiring hospitalisation for 2 months post-accident. However, despite a series of successful early surgeries on his leg, Mr M has still been left with permanent pain, loss of range of movement and limited mobility. He also suffered psychological trauma and has lasting disfigurement to his leg.

Following discharge from the hospital, Mr M required significant care and assistance. He was also unable to attend college to continue with a course for his intended career in plumbing. He was also unable to return to riding his scooter. 

More surgery was needed several years after the accident as parts of the metalwork in his leg was causing him increased pain and discomfort.    

Sadly, the driver of the van did not come forward and was never located by the police. So, Claire Burnell helped Mr M to navigate the complex claims process and to enable him to bring a claim for his personal injuries and consequential losses against the MIB, via their Untraced Drivers’ Agreement. 

As part of the claim, Claire Burnell was able to secure funding from the MIB to enable Mr M to access privately funded rehabilitation throughout the course of his long road of recovery. 

The private rehabilitation providers assisted Mr M with both his physical and psychological needs, and in the early stages, they worked alongside the NHS in providing and enabling Mr M to have prompt and effective treatment, which was needed to help Mr M achieve the best possible recovery from his injuries. The private rehabilitation providers also continued to provide treatment and surgery to Mr M, long after he had been discharged from the NHS, again which was all funded by the MIB via the claim. 

Given the nature of his injuries, Mr M had to reconsider his future career plans. Again, Claire Burnell secured funding from the MIB to enable him to access private vocational support to help him consider, investigate, re-train and gain new qualifications. This enabled Mr M access to alternative career options as were required to accommodate his injuries and level of permanent disability. 

Claire Burnell sourced a variety of highly specialist medical experts to provide a series of expert reports as part of the claim, which included an analysis of Mr M’s injuries and recommendations for future treatment. The reports also had the expert’s opinions and prognoses upon the full extent of Mr M’s past, present and likely future injuries and losses. The medical experts included two separate lower limb specialist consultant orthopaedic surgeons, and a consultant psychiatrist. 

The opinion of an expert accountant, specialising in earnings valuations within the contents of serious injuries claims, was also needed to provide a calculation and projection of full loss of earnings and future loss of pension for Mr M. 

These experts helped to confirm the full extent and impact of Mr M’s injuries and financial losses and his prognosis for the future, which ultimately assisted and enabled the parties in assessing the overall settlement figure required to compensate Mr M for his past fully, present and future pain, suffering loss of amenity and losses throughout his life. 

Mr M’s sizeable settlement award provides him with a secure future for himself and also to help him in being able to support his young family 

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