M, a young man who worked as a software developer, suffered polytrauma, the most serious of which were to his left foot and ankle, ultimately leading to a Syme’s amputation. This type of amputation is unusual and involved amputation of the forefoot through the ankle. His humerus (upper arm) was also badly fractured, which caused him ongoing pain and prevented him from functioning properly.
After several months in hospital, M was discharged home. Unfortunately, at the time of the accident, he'd begun renovation work on his house, leaving it essentially a building site. Back at home, he was confined to one room and things were very difficult and unsafe.
The insurer of the lorry were slow to engage despite the clear need for urgent financial support and initially denied liability, placing M in a very difficult position. Mindful of the great impact on him and the need for funds, Jill issued proceedings quickly and whilst initially the insurers acting on behalf of the driver still denied liability, work done by accident reconstruction experts and the police demonstrated that liability clearly lay at the door of the defendant driver.
As is often the case in motorbike accidents, the Defence had sought to blame the motorcyclist and to suggest that he was in some way at fault. The Defence eventually accepted liability in full.
Because of his injuries, M struggled to cope with his previous role, which involved a lot of computer work and typing, which he simply could not now do. M also required revision surgery in the future to bring his amputation to a below-knee level.
Perhaps most importantly, M needed accessible accommodation to be able to move about his home safely. He needed care and assistance and access to private prosthetics for the rest of his life. Funds were put in place during the litigation to show that M would cope a great deal better in accommodation that was more suitable. The Defence had suggested that M could use the stairs safely in his former home, despite the fact that M had fallen down the stairs at his home while struggling to cope.
At a joint settlement meeting with the insurers, Jill achieved a several million to fund his care needs, loss of income, prosthetic needs and accommodation.
Jill commented: "We had to battle hard on this case for M, but I was always confident that with the right expert evidence and a good rehabilitation team, we would clearly show the financial nee. Motorcyclists quite often get a number of allegations thrown at them by a Defendant but I always look at my expert analysis to inform me of the risks for my client and it was clear here that my client was not at fault. "
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