For 53-year-old Saulius Paulavicius, 21 October 2016 had been like any other Friday night. Then suddenly everything changed. Whilst navigating the pedestrian crossing on a dual carriageway near his local Tesco superstore, he was knocked down by a car approaching from a nearby roundabout. As a result of the impact, Saulius sustained life-changing injuries. He was airlifted to the Wessex Neuro-Intensive Care Unit at Southampton Hospital and subsequently diagnosed with a spinal cord injury. This resulted in paralysis from the neck down. Saulius also sustained a traumatic brain injury and multiple other injuries.
Saulius was born in Lithuania, where he trained as a PE teacher. He moved to the UK for the first time 15 years ago and found work in the building trade. Although he returned to Lithuania periodically, he had made a life in the UK and planned to continue working here in the future. He enjoyed a healthy social life and visits to the UK’s historic towns, museums and art galleries.
Following his accident, Saulius’s family were recommended to Stewarts and put in touch with Chris Deacon, senior associate in the International Injury department. Chris specialises in cross-border personal injury cases and was instructed by Saulius to investigate the circumstances of the accident and pursue a claim for damages.
By the time Stewarts was instructed, Saulius had returned to Lithuania. When he made this decision he considered it would be in his best interests, enabling him to be with his elderly mother and other family members who would be able to provide him with much- needed support. Unfortunately, without the funds to meet his significant needs for care, rehabilitation, medical treatment, aids, equipment and accommodation, Saulius’s condition deteriorated. He had been left with an open tracheostomy site and was unable to speak or swallow. This was impacting on his overall health. Stewarts secured urgent interim funding to have a case manager visit Saulius in Lithuania and produce an immediate needs assessment (INA). The INA identified Saulius would be at risk if he was not transferred to a suitable rehabilitation facility without delay.
Stewarts worked collaboratively with the defendant insurer and its legal team to secure a significant interim payment. The funds were used to pay for an air ambulance so Saulius could return to the UK and have an intense period of rehabilitation at the Royal Bucks Hospital. With the input of a specialist speech and language therapist, alongside a dedicated team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists, Saulius made enormous strides in his progress. This, combined with Saulius’s personal motivation, turned things around for him and he was able to get on track for the future.
In December 2017, the defendant agreed to attend a settlement meeting at Stewarts’ offices in London. Six months following Stewarts’ instruction by Saulius, a lump sum settlement was agreed. The settlement secured Saulius’s place at the Royal Bucks Hospital so he could see his rehabilitation through to the end of the recommended course. In turn, this enabled him to return to Lithuania, physically and mentally stronger and with the financial security to meet his future needs. Saulius immediately set about identifying a house he could purchase and adapt using his settlement. His UK-based case manager, who specialises in assisting those with catastrophic injury, made sure that he had all of the equipment he needed for his return to Lithuania. He has also employed a full-time carer.
“Chris and the team at Stewarts were very professional. For all questions we always got a quick answer and they were always available. The advice I got from Chris was good and left me with a positive impression from the moment I made contact with the firm. We are very pleased that Stewarts recommended further contacts (for example, the case manager and a lawyer specialising in trusts, wills and who was able to sort my power of attorney). Without the settlement, the full-time nursing care I have would not be possible. It has also enabled me to get the equipment to return to independent surfing on the internet!”
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Life beyond injury
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