RG was 26 years old when he was hit by a car driving on the wrong side of the road on New Year’s Day in 2018. The driver attempted to dangerously overtake a car at speed and drove head-on into RG, who was riding his motorcycle.
Despite wearing a helmet, RG sustained a severe brain injury and numerous orthopaedic injuries, including serious fractures to both legs, a fractured clavicle, a fractured shoulder and rib fractures.
Despite RG’s life-changing injuries, the driver fled the scene of the accident but later handed himself in to the police. He was arrested and charged with numerous offences, including causing serious injury by dangerous driving, having no insurance and leaving the scene of the accident. The driver pleaded guilty to all charges except for causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was later found guilty at a criminal trial, sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for five years.
Admission to hospital
Following the collision, RG was attended to by Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and rushed to the Royal London Hospital. He needed emergency surgery and was admitted to intensive care on a ventilator. He was in a minimally conscious state for several months, and initially, his family did not know if he would survive his injuries.
At the time of the accident, RG was living at home with his parents and long-term girlfriend. He had set up his own successful business with his two brothers. RG’s family are incredibly close, and they stayed at his bedside for weeks on end, providing constant support. His mother was very involved in his rehabilitation and acted as his litigation friend and advocate. His girlfriend supported RG throughout his recovery, making the best of every situation despite the accident turning their lives upside down.
RG was admitted to the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit (RNRU) at Homerton Hospital for intensive inpatient neurorehabilitation. He was discharged home five months later and was essentially wheelchair-bound. He needed 24-hour care, which was provided predominantly by his family.
It was clear early on that RG has retained his sense of humour and caring personality. Despite the challenging circumstances, he would take any opportunity to make his family smile. After his discharge home, with the support of his family, he proposed to his long-term girlfriend (and she said yes!).
Instruction of Stewarts
The family instructed Stephanie Clarke shortly after the accident to investigate a personal injury claim. The claim was pursued against the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) as the other driver was uninsured. Liability was admitted at an early stage, and there was substantial cooperation between Stephanie and her opponent solicitor representing the MIB. This resulted in numerous interim payments being made throughout the claim to fund RG’s rehabilitation.
The interim payments allowed RG to have the benefit of a specialist brain injury case manager, a brain injury support worker, intensive physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, neuropsychology, and speech and language therapy on a private basis. Adaptations were made to his parent’s home, which provided him with an adapted annexe with wheelchair accessible wet room and an accessible home gym. He purchased an adapted vehicle, which allows him to travel either in the front passenger seat or remain in his wheelchair, depending on his fatigue levels. He has taken up fishing since his accident, which he accesses in an all-terrain powered wheelchair.
Both parties obtained expert evidence in a wide range of specialisms to consider RG’s prognosis and future needs. Stephanie instructed highly experienced barrister Steven Snowden QC to represent RG and advise on maximising his award.
After an initial settlement meeting between the parties was postponed due to a technical issue relating to the defendant’s insurance position, Stephanie secured a substantial interim payment. This allowed RG to purchase a property, which will be adapted to allow for his ongoing disabilities and be his home for life.
Court proceedings were issued within the three-year limitation period to protect RG’s position. At a case management hearing before Master Sullivan, Stephanie successfully prevented the defendant from relying on statistical life expectancy evidence, meaning it was only the expert neurologists who would be able to give opinions on RG’s life expectancy.
Despite his serious injuries, RG remained incredibly upbeat and positive throughout his recovery. As a result of the intensive rehabilitation, his determination to improve and the unwavering support from his extremely devoted family, RG made significant physical and cognitive progress. After being told he would never walk again, he can now walk short distances with the support of walking sticks. He was assessed as regaining the capacity to manage his property and affairs, which was an important milestone for him.
The claim was settled in January 2022 on excellent terms for RG. The settlement provides him with bespoke rehabilitation, specialist equipment and ongoing care support to ensure he can continue to live his life to the full. As he will never return to paid employment, the settlement also provides RG with financial security for the rest of his life. A personal injury trust with a professional trustee will provide the necessary support and protection for his award.
This case is a brilliant example of the benefit of having both parties represented by a highly experienced, specialist personal injury legal team who can confidently work together. With interim payment funding and a collaborative approach, RG was able to maximise his potential and achieve the best recovery from his injuries, as well as secure the best possible compensation award for his future.
RG and his fiancé are going on a well-deserved holiday and are currently planning their wedding. They are looking forward to starting their life together as a family in their newly adapted home.
RG said: “Words can’t describe how thankful we are to Stephanie for all her help, and to the whole team and what they have committed to this case to help us move forward with our lives. You have all been absolutely amazing, and we can’t thank you enough. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for you all. We will be forever grateful.”
His mother said: “Stephanie was always there with sensible, realistic advice. She always had his best interests at heart. Stephanie knew how to ensure he got the very best settlement to cover all eventualities, even when we were in the dark about what the future would hold.”
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