£4.4m settlement for doctor following road traffic accident

10 March 2021

A doctor who sustained significant injuries following a road traffic accident in 2017 has been awarded £4.4m in damages.

Andy Shaw, Partner and Head of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence at Higgs & Sons, negotiated the settlement following a three-year legal process. 

The claimant sustained a traumatically induced stroke following a head-on impact with another vehicle whilst on his way home from work to collect his children.  

As a consequence of those injuries, the claimant was left with a range of difficulties which included significant mobility challenges, impaired speech, fatigue, and visual impairment.

Assisted by Laura Horton and other members of his wider team, Andy was instructed shortly after the accident by the claimant’s partner and was able to make the appropriate enquiries with the police in order to establish responsibility for the accident.    

This paved the way for Andy and his team to secure early access to substantial interim payments to facilitate a comprehensive rehabilitation programme via a case manager.

The claimant’s injuries were such that he was unable to return to his former home, which was not wheelchair accessible.  

In collaboration with the compensating insurer, the Higgs & Sons team was able to secure funding to enable the rental of temporary, single-level accommodation to assist in the discharge process whilst the claimant’s longer-term needs were addressed.

Andy said: “Whilst the claimant was a patient in hospital receiving intensive treatment, we were able to appoint an excellent and very experienced case manager to put in place a comprehensive package of rehabilitation.

“This comprised neurophysiotherapy, neuropsychological support, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. Our approach has always been about putting the claimant at the centre of everything we do.

“I was pleased that, in this particular case, we had a co-operative insurer who was willing to do everything in their power to help my client achieve the best possible recovery, whilst at the same time supporting his partner in making the adjustments needed.

“Around two-and-a-half-years after the accident, the claimant was able to purchase a property suitable to meet his long-term needs and we worked with experts to ensure that the claimant and his wife received the appropriate advice and support to ensure that the property was adapted to meet his requirements.”

Higgs & Sons is a multi-service firm and Andy was able to involve colleagues from other legal teams to support his client in multiple areas. 

He added: “One of the strengths of a broad-based practice is that we can service most of our client’s needs from under the same roof rather than have to refer the client elsewhere. 

“Despite all best efforts, given the injuries sustained my client was unfortunately not able to return to his previous work.

“I was able to work with colleagues in our employment law team to support him in negotiating his exit from the NHS Trust. Colleagues in our property team were able to assist in a property purchase and colleagues in our private client team ensured that a personal injury trust was in place to preserve any entitlement to benefits, in addition to dealing with any estate planning issues. 

“This case perfectly demonstrates the strength and depth of the firm and the benefits of appointing a firm who are able to support clients holistically with a range of legal needs.”

In addition to the £4.4m settlement, Andy and his team were able to negotiate a costs of the rehabilitation programme, which totalled £356,000.

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