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'Miss H' - Representing a client for the second time

Case handler: Christopher Lecky (Solicitor)

This case, involved a former client who had previously suffered minor injuries in a road traffic accident. Tragically, her injuries on this occasion were a great deal more serious.

Our client had been shopping with her mother at a supermarket and was crossing the road on her way to catch a bus home. She and her mother crossed the first lane of a two lane carriageway and stopped on a pedestrian island. To their offside was a complex road junction involving a double mini roundabout and numerous feeder roads.

Our client's mother and an independent witness reported that a car then stopped and waved them to cross the road. As our client started to cross, another vehicle came from her near side and collided with her.

Our client suffered a serious traumatic brain injury and an extensive range of orthopaedic injuries.

The complexities in our client's case were numerous. She was a refugee who spoke little English and was already a pre-existing wheelchair user due to a brittle bone disease condition. She had shortened limbs and undoubtedly had significant care needs pre-accident.

However, witness evidence supported that she was independent in accessing the community, visiting local shops and helping her mother to navigate the bus routes around her home town. She was also described as very chatty and sociable and enjoyed attending all community events. She was working hard to learn English and attended up to four classes a week.

Features of our client's case

Our client's resilience was unquestionably fostered in her early years in a refugee camp when she had no access to any equipment or medical help. She had developed an ability to crawl around to mobilise and she continued to use this skill in her home environment.

Post accident, our client's presentation was in marked contrast. She was prone to episodes of confusion and would often not recognise close friends or be able to respond to direct questioning.

Unusually, our solicitor Chris Lecky, had unique insight into the case having dealt with our client's first accident and therefore had met her both before and after her brain injury.

Why Serious Law was one of a select handful of firms uniquely able to handle the matter

Liability was contested throughout and a split trial was listed where it was anticipated that our client's case would succeed but a finding of contributory negligence was almost inevitable, possibly up to 30%.

A Joint Settlement Meeting (JSM) resulted in the Defendant making a costs inclusive offer of seven figures to settle the case. This was rejected. Counter offers were made which were rejected by the Defendant. The JSM, therefore, ultimately failed.

The settlement

In the lead up to trial, the Defendant made a number of quantum offers to settle the case. An improved seven figure offer was made (and rejected) but was later increased to the final, agreed, settlement figure a week prior to trial.

Due to various risk elements and complexities in our case, the increased seven figure settlement was therefore recommended by the legal team, accepted by our client's family and approved by the Court.

It is worth noting that the first offer in this case was approximately eight times less than the final agreed settlement and therefore it is clear that continuing to fight this case until almost the day of trial was the correct decision.

If you or someone you know has sustained a serious injury and would like to speak to a serious injury specialist, please contact us today.