Stewarts’ client RB, who was seriously injured following a collision in 2018, has received substantial compensation to meet his needs for the remainder of his life.
Peregrine Redgrave adopted a collaborative approach to the litigation with the defendant’s insurer (Admiral) and solicitor (Rod Evans of Horwich Farrelly), which enabled a settlement to be achieved without the need to issue court proceedings.
Background to the accident
On 20 October 2018, RB was walking home after spending the evening with his partner when the defendant lost control of his vehicle, causing it to mount the pavement. RB heroically pushed his partner to safety away from the vehicle’s path but could not avoid being struck himself, resulting in him being pinned against a wall.
RB was transported to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where he received life-saving emergency treatment. He then spent approximately two weeks in the intensive care unit before being transferred to the trauma and orthopaedic ward and subsequently the plastics ward, where he remained for a significant time.
He sustained a severe left lower limb crush injury and fractures, which sadly necessitated a high transfemoral (above knee) amputation. He also sustained multiple pelvic fractures and severe lower abdominal injuries, causing damage to his bladder, bowels and genitals.
Before the accident, RB led an active life, being a keen skateboarder, swimmer and amateur tattooist. He worked with children with learning difficulties. His main priorities were walking again and returning to a similar quality of life that he had pre-accident.
Peregrine Redgrave was instructed in respect of RB’s claim five days after the accident. He met RB and his family in hospital before establishing early contact with the defendant driver’s insurance company, Admiral, and making enquiries to establish liability as soon as possible.
Admiral appreciated the seriousness of RB’s injuries, and just one week after initial contact was made, a without prejudice interim payment of £5,000 was secured for him. Admiral also funded the instruction of a case manager to assess RB’s needs and provide support and guidance to him during this difficult period. The first step Peregrine took was to secure the services of a leading amputee case manager, Scott Hodder of Bush & Co, to orchestrate the rehabilitation.
Discharge and rehabilitation
Due to his injuries, RB’s pre-accident rental property was no longer appropriate for his needs, and Peregrine instructed a property search agent to locate an alternative rental property. RB embraced the move into a spacious accessible apartment in Bristol, which allowed him to mobilise throughout the property in his wheelchair.
Admiral and Stewarts adopted a collaborative approach to RB’s case, which resulted in an early admission of liability despite an ongoing criminal investigation. Admiral then provided significant interim payments, which allowed RB to obtain the highest quality rehabilitation available to get his life back on track. This case serves as an example of what can be achieved when parties work together, not against each other, and Admiral should be commended for the pragmatic and compassionate way they dealt with the claim.
Peregrine arranged for RB to undergo private assessment through the Remedy/ProActive Prosthetics pathway. RB’s treating prosthetist, Alan McDougall, prescribed a state-of-the-art prosthetic limb, the Genium X3. Admiral agreed to fund a four-week intensive residential rehabilitation programme at Kingston Rehabilitation Centre under the care of the Remedy team. This team consisted of a consultant in rehabilitation medicine, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, an exercise rehabilitation instructor and a clinical psychologist.
Peregrine arranged for the claims handler at Admiral to meet RB towards the end of his inpatient stay to highlight the rehabilitation programme’s benefit. At that stage, RB was mobilising well on his prosthesis and becoming more independent, reducing his care and support needs.
RB engaged well with his rehabilitation and was determined to make progress despite setbacks due to skin breakdown and interruptions in his rehabilitation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Various pieces of equipment were purchased on RB’s behalf to build a home gym to allow him to continue his rehabilitation during the national lockdowns. Crucially, RB felt fully supported throughout the process.
Once the lockdown restrictions were lifted, RB was excited and determined to pick up where he left off. With the support and encouragement of Peregrine, his case manager and treating team, RB trialled a variety of activities in an attempt to replicate the active and adrenaline-fuelled lifestyle he enjoyed before the accident. This included e-biking, open water swimming, sit skiing, snowboarding and WCMXing under the tutelage of the UK WCMX champion and her coach. This required specialist prosthetic input, and RB was provided with a dedicated water limb to facilitate his activities in the water.
Interim payment funding also allowed RB and his partner to go on holidays abroad and in the UK, arranged via a disability holiday company.
Stuart McKechnie QC of 9 Gough Chambers, probably the leading silk on amputee claims in the country, was instructed at various stages throughout the case to provide tactical input and advice. Stuart and Peregrine then conducted negotiations at a settlement meeting where Admiral agreed to settle the damages claim at £6m. The collaborative approach taken throughout the case was echoed at the settlement meeting, and the defendant’s legal team met RB at the conclusion of negotiations to wish him the best for the future.
This settlement will allow RB to purchase his own property, which can be adapted to his requirements and provide for his lifetime needs, including state-of-the-art prosthetics, bespoke equipment, treatment/therapies and loss of earnings. This financial security has transformed RB’s life and lifted a huge psychological weight from his shoulders.
Life beyond injury
RB hopes to buy a suitable property for himself, his partner and their two dogs in Bristol close to the city centre. He is also interested in launching a new business venture dealing with accessible property lettings to help others with physical disabilities who have experienced similar problems to himself. Ultimately, RB has his heart set on the Paris 2024 Paralympics, where he hopes to compete for Britain in WCMXing, a sport in which wheelchair athletes perform tricks adapted from skateboarding and BMX, usually performed in a skatepark.
“After my life-changing accident, Peregrine set up an amazing team to help me on my long road to recovery. He was at all times supportive, patient and understanding of my personal circumstances. I could not have asked for better.”
Scott Hodder, RB’s case manager, says:
“From the outset of my instruction as case manager supporting RB, I have received regular communication from Peregrine to ensure that all issues, recommendations, clinical justifications and rehabilitation funds were available for RB to progress with his rehabilitation as needed.
“Peregrine clearly prioritises his clients and demonstrates this by always being available for RB, giving advice and pointing him in the right direction when needed. He brings a personable and approachable manner so his clients can relax and relate easily. He also brings a very knowledgeable, competent and professional approach to his clients, which gives the client and entire rehabilitation team confidence and encouragement. This, in turn, supports the client to exceed their rehabilitation goals as was the case with this client.”
Beth Jones of Admiral says:
“As defendant insurers we seek to promote a collaborative working relationship wherever possible and especially on cases involving such significant injuries. We are pleased to have found a sensible opponent in Peregrine and wish RB all the best for a fulfilling and exciting future.”
Life beyond injury
We have teamed up with other clients who have sustained catastrophic injuries to tell their stories of Life Beyond Injury. Please visit the Life Beyond Injury webpages here.
We hope that by sharing these stories, newly injured people can see that with the right support they too can overcome adversity to lead full and active lives.
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