Injured pedestrian awarded £3.3m in serious injury compensation

13 April 2021

Our client was hit by a car when crossing the road near his house. He suffered a serious spinal injury which left him with limited mobility.

Client situation

We were contacted by the family of a pedestrian, Mr G, who was seriously injured when he was run over by a car while crossing the road near his home. Mr G was 55 at the time of the accident and was the full-time carer for his elderly mother. He was also working as a private tutor in Maths and Science.

He was crossing the road at a pelican crossing near his home while on his way to the shops, but he hadn’t activated the lights because the road was clear as far as he could see.

He had reached the middle of the road when he was struck by a 4x4 vehicle at a speed of over 30mph. The car was being driven by a young driver who had only passed his test a few months earlier and who had overtaken a learner driver on the approach to the crossing, which was on the exit of a large roundabout.

The accident circumstances were the subject of a on ongoing dispute, with the driver suggesting that Mr G had run across the road in front of him, which was denied. The driver was later convicted of driving without due care and attention at the Crown Court for his part in the events leading to the accident.

Our client suffered multiple serious injuries, the worst of which was a spinal cord injury leaving him with extremely limited movement and physical control below chest level. He also suffered a shoulder injury, a head injury and injuries to both legs.

Mr G was treated in hospital for almost a year and received specialist rehabilitation therapy at the National Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville. He was able to eventually regain the use of his legs, but this was only through intensive rehabilitation and his own hard work and determination. Eventually he was able to walk again, but only very slowly and with the assistance of walking aids, such as a wheeled walking frame.

The family home was no longer suitable for Mr G in his injured state because he couldn’t manage the stairs. It was clear after the accident that Mr G would no longer be able to care for his elderly mother as he once had. His brother moved back into the family home to provide care to their mother.

When he was discharged from hospital it became apparent that Mr G would need help from a carer, and he would also need to move to a new property.

How we helped

We visited Mr G in hospital and met with his family at the family home shortly after the accident.

We discussed accommodation options with Mr G’s mother and brother. It became clear that Mr G’s mother was too frail to be moved from the family home and our experienced serious injury case manager facilitated plans for Mr G’s hospital discharge. The case manager arranged temporary accommodation and a 24 hour care package for Mr G when he left hospital.

Although there was a difference of views around the circumstances of the accident, we worked together with the driver’s insurers to make sure Mr G would be financially supported during his rehabilitation. A 12-week private hospital rehabilitation programme was also arranged to give Mr G the best chance of recovery from his spinal cord injury.

At the end of this 12-week programme, Mr G was able to be discharged without needing a wheelchair. He would never again be able to manage flights of stairs though.

We commissioned an architect to assess Mr G’s family home. The architect confirmed that the home couldn’t be made suitable for the Mr G and his carer, so a new home would be needed. The architect confirmed the home’s requirements for Mr G, given his medical condition and need for care.

Assessments were arranged with a spinal surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon, a neurologist and neuropsychologist, as well as care experts, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and architects. A multi-disciplinary approach was taken from the outset to ensure Mr G received the maximum level of support. A new property was found for Mr G to move into which was close enough for him to see his family regularly, but also gave him to access amenities using mobility aids. The move was funded by regular interim payments that we secured from the driver’s insurers.

We instructed a leading Queen’s Counsel barrister to represent Mr G during negotiations with the driver’s insurers.

The outcome

The case was eventually settled three and a half years after the accident, with Mr G receiving a settlement sum of £3.3m. The initial claim was for a higher amount, but this was reduced to reflect the risk of the court finding Mr G partially at fault because he didn’t activate the pedestrian crossing.

This compensation was to cover the purchase and adaptations of a new property for Mr G, to pay for a care package and cover future support costs. This settlement will allow him to have a live-in carer to support his own care needs and ensure his mother’s care needs are also met.

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