LS was involved in a serious road traffic accident on 25 September 2016. He was a passenger in a vehicle where the driver lost control and collided with a lamppost and tree. LS sustained severe, life-changing injuries. In October 2016, LS instructed Stewarts in October 2016, and we went on to secure a multi-million pound settlement to cover the cost of his future needs.
At the time of the accident, LS was only 19 years old. He was fit, healthy and sociable. He was living with his mother, step-father and siblings in a three-storey townhouse. LS’s career goal was to qualify as a plumber. In the summer of 2016, he completed a three-year plumbing course. He then started a two-year plumbing apprenticeship, which he hoped to finish in August 2018.
On the day of the accident, LS had been out socialising with his friends. On the way home, he was the front seat passenger in a vehicle where the driver lost control and collided with a lamppost and tree. The impact of the collision caused LS to sustain catastrophic injuries. He was left with a severe spinal cord injury rendering him a paraplegic. He was also left with a traumatic brain injury, orthopaedic injuries and internal injuries.
The legal claim
Stewarts took on LS’s case in October 2016 and pursued a claim for personal injury and consequential loss against the driver of the car as a result of severe injuries LS sustained in the accident. The case was dealt with by Megan Goodyer in the personal injury department in the London office.
Throughout the first eight months of the claim, LS was a hospital in-patient. Immediately following the accident, he spent almost three months in University Hospital, Southampton, during which time he was seriously unwell. In December 2016, he was transferred to The Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury District Hospital. He was an in-patient for almost five months while undergoing a period of intensive spinal rehabilitation. LS was eventually discharged in May 2017.
As a result of the accident, LS was informed that he would be wheelchair dependent for the rest of his life. He was left with limited sensation in his legs and no functional movement. LS suffered from pain in his neck, back, pelvis and lower limbs. He also lost independent control of his bladder and bowels. LS had to adapt to an entirely new way of living. He suffered from periods of low mood but largely remained positive and determined to get his life back on track.
Unfortunately, LS could not return to his family home as the property was not wheelchair accessible and did not meet his requirements. Stewarts successfully obtained an interim payment to cover the cost of adapting a two bedroom, ground floor flat to accommodate his needs.
Stewarts obtained further interim payments to cover the cost of medical treatments and therapies such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and psychology. The interim payments also enabled LS to purchase an adapted vehicle and other equipment such as a suitable wheelchair, handbike, standing frame, weight bench and shower chair.
Throughout the claim, LS had access to a case manager and occupational therapist whose services were paid for under the Rehabilitation Code.
To assist with the claim, Stewarts instructed a large number of medico-legal experts. A spinal expert, orthopaedic surgeon, plastic surgeon, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, urologist, neurologist, care expert and accommodation expert assessed LS. Each expert prepared a report, which painted an overall picture of LS’s condition, likely prognosis and future needs. Once the medico-legal evidence was complete, Stewarts was able to assess the quantum of LS’s claim.
A joint settlement meeting took place at Stewarts’ offices on 2 April 2019. LS attended the meeting along with his family, which had been supportive of LS since the day of the accident. Unfortunately, the claim did not settle on the day as the parties could not reach a suitable agreement. Following the settlement meeting, negotiations continued until the defendants offered a substantial sum of money. LS accepted the offer after receiving advice from both Stewarts and counsel.
The multi-million pound settlement will enable LS to access the necessary support, therapies and equipment he will require for the rest of his life.
Comments from LS
”Stewarts were very professional and did everything I could have asked for. I have nothing bad to say about them.
“A lot has changed since my case settled and the money has made a massive difference. Obviously, my situation is not ideal but the money makes everything easier and I don’t have to worry as much. I am back working now and have been able to buy a bungalow. It’s all ground floor but, with the settlement money, I have been able to get some external ramps and adapt the bathroom.
“I had two lawyers during my case but I worked with Megan the most and she was amazing. I just want to say thanks to everyone at Stewarts for all they did. I want them to know that they did a great job and it has made a massive difference to my life.”
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