A motorcyclist who sustained multiple fractures after a collision secured a lifetime financial settlement and has been able to return to work after incredible success in rehabilitation and retraining. Hayley Symington handled the case for our client Richard.
Before the incident, Richard had two young children and was about to qualify as a SMART meter engineer. He was extremely fit and active and enjoyed taking his children to the Lake District for walking holidays.
On 27 August 2019, Richard was thrown 15 feet into the air when the defendant driver suddenly cut across his path into a side junction and knocked him off his motorbike. He sustained a significant number of fractures, including to his pelvis, both hips, right leg, left forearm, vertebrae, rib and nose. Fortunately, Richard was wearing a full-face helmet otherwise the outcome could have been much worse.
East Anglian Air Ambulance attended the scene and worked to stabilise Richard at the roadside for over an hour before they transported him to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he was admitted to the neurocritical care unit. He underwent numerous surgeries and was in significant pain. Richard needed four members of staff to help with transfers to and from his bed, and he relied on assistance with washing and dressing. His family and friends provided a significant amount of support while he was in hospital, including bringing his young children in to visit him.
Instruction of Stewarts
Richard instructed Stewarts to pursue a personal injury claim. After initially meeting with partner Stephanie Clarke, Richard instructed associate Hayley Symington to handle his claim. Early contact was made with the defendant driver’s insurer, and liability for the collision was resolved entirely in Richard’s favour.
A collaborative approach between the parties meant that ongoing access to interim payments totalling almost £150,000 supported Richard’s rehabilitation and recovery.
Hayley instructed specialist experts to report on Richard’s injuries and his long-term needs.
Jo Forrest, Senior Case Manager at Anglia Case Management, was instructed and set up a care package including support with personal care, meal preparation, fetching and carrying, housework and daily tasks. Jo also set up a private rehabilitation team, including an intensive residential rehabilitation programme with Re:medy Healthcare at Kingston Rehabilitation Centre. Richard moved to alternative level access accommodation and purchased an adapted car funded through the claim.
Richard was extremely motivated and, with the support of his therapy team, made incredible progress with his recovery. After initially being reliant on a wheelchair, he progressed to walking with a crutch. His rehabilitation goals were to live independently, return to work and take his children back to the Lake District.
Unfortunately, the national lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic hugely disrupted Richard’s rehabilitation programme. He was unable to continue his therapy and gym programme and began experiencing extreme pain when walking. Richard started working with a personal trainer outside within the restrictions and purchased gym equipment to allow him to complete a home exercise programme several times a week. This dedication paid off, and Richard reported an improvement in his symptoms.
Funding through the claim also allowed Richard to have surgery on a private basis to remove some of the metalwork necessary to unite his fractures.
Return to work
Richard was determined to go back to his pre-accident role to complete his qualification. However, his employer refused to implement the necessary adjustments, and sadly his role was terminated after a medical capability meeting.
Richard was unwavering in his goal to return to employment, however. After initially attempting to work as a welder, he retrained as a smart repairs technician with a vehicle bodywork repair company. Despite increased pain symptoms in both his hips and leg, he refused to accept defeat and instead worked with his new employer to adjust his role, including reducing his hours to part-time.
These adjustments allowed Richard to recover on his days off while also enjoying time with his young children and partner. Richard also benefited from privately-funded sports massages and a Jacuzzi/hot tub to provide hydrotherapy to manage his symptoms and allow him to continue working.
A virtual settlement meeting took place in November 2021. As a result of the collaborative approach between Hayley Symington and the opponents, Richard’s claim was settled on highly favourable terms without the need to issue court proceedings.
The settlement provides Richard with financial security and sufficient funds to ensure that his therapeutic, equipment and care needs are met for the rest of his life.
Richard’s case highlights that a good working relationship between the parties’ solicitors can provide an excellent result for the claimant.
As a result of Richard’s resilience and dedication to his rehabilitation, he has been able to rebuild his life after injury. Richard has been able to enjoy activities with his children again, move in with his partner and live independently, and has got back on his motorbike. He has recently set up his own mobile SMART repair business to enable him to control his working hours in line with his ongoing needs.
Richard said: “I have been impressed from day one with how Stewarts have conducted my case. I first met Stephanie while still in the hospital. I was then assigned to Hayley, who has been amazing. She explained everything, and I never had to chase. I always felt like before I asked a question, I already had the answer.
“I have benefitted from having Stewarts and Hayley in my corner to secure interim payments to cover my living expenses and all the private treatment that has been available to me. I honestly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without Hayley’s hard work and without Stewarts being able to give me access to these private options.”
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.
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Personal Injury pages.
If you require assistance from our team, please contact us.
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