Compensation For Elderly Client With Life-Changing Injuries
I recently settled a claim for Mrs S, who sustained life-changing injuries when she was involved in a road traffic accident.
Mrs S was a pedestrian hit by a driver whilst crossing at a crossroads in North London.
On impact, she sustained multiple serious injuries to her right side including a tibial plateau fracture to her leg, a comminuted shoulder fracture, multiple rib fractures, a fracture to her clavicle, and a number of facial fractures.
Mrs S was 88 at the time of her accident and her injuries were life-changing. She remained in hospital for two months following the accident and during this time, developed a grade 4 pressure sore on her sacrum.
Mrs S lived independently and prior to the accident, required no assistance with her daily needs. I was able to obtain CCTV footage from a business at the location of the accident which showed, immediately prior to the collision, Mrs S walking with heavy shopping bags up the high street and across the road. This was very useful in countering any argument from the defendant’s insurers that Mrs S was frail and required support prior to the accident.
After 2 months in hospital, Mrs S was discharged to a care home, and the family was advised she would need 24-hour care.
At the outset of my instruction, I immediately instructed a case manager to carry out an “initial needs assessment” (INA). This report made extensive rehabilitation recommendations to support Mrs. S on her long road to recovery.
The insurers of the vehicle initially refused to fund the recommendations, advising that as the driver of the vehicle could not be traced. Through my investigation of the evidence, I discovered that Mrs S’s ambulance records detailed the defendant’s driver, and so I was able to insist that the insurers dealt with the claim for compensation for the serious injuries suffered by my client.
Unfortunately, the delays in providing the programme of care recommended in the INA meant that nursing home care had been the only care in place. It was at a level that had not supported Mrs S’s desire to regain her independence and function, and she had become institutionalised to the point where she felt unable to manage on her own.
I therefore secured interim funding for private carer visits to supplement the care provided in the nursing home, and a physiotherapy package.
Mrs S’s case manager felt that, despite Mrs S’s serious and very complex injuries, she nevertheless had the ability to regain some of her independence. With this in mind, I secured additional funding for a comprehensive temporary care package to support Mrs S’s move back into her own home.
Fortunately, a flat became available in extra sheltered accommodation which the case manager and family considered would be a better fit for her. The funding was therefore put towards a robust care package consisting of occupational therapy (OT), physiotherapy and domestic services, to supplement the support within the extra sheltered accommodation so that Mrs S felt fully supported in her move to her new property. The intention being that she was able to regain some of the independence she previously had.
Due to the claimant’s complex and numerous injuries, she was seen by five different medical experts including two orthopaedic surgeons (upper and lower limb) an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, a general surgeon, a consultant geriatrician and a consultant psychiatrist.
In the medical experts’ opinion, Mrs S had developed severe osteoarthritis in her right knee and without surgery, her significant symptoms were expected to be permanent. Having been active before the accident, she is now limited to walking up to 100m at a time slowly with a frame.
Her shoulder fracture resulted in a malunion and Mrs S developed pseudarthrosis causing ongoing intrusive pain and stiffness. Again, without surgery, Mrs S was not expected to fully regain the use of her arm.
The orthopaedic experts considered that, despite her age, Mrs S may be a good candidate for a knee and shoulder replacement.
As Mrs S’s claim continued, the defendant’s solicitors made an offer to settle the claim and, following negotiations, Mrs S will receive just under £250,000 in settlement of her claim.
This sum aims to compensate Mrs S for the life-changing injuries she sustained, but will also pay for both surgeries should she wish to undergo them, and fund a supportive day-to-day care package for Mrs S for life. This will include ongoing physiotherapy, OT support and domestic help.
I was pleased to secure a significant settlement for Mrs S, who despite her life-changing injuries, was able to recover a reasonable quality of life. Equally important however was the extensive rehabilitation that was put in place early for Mrs S, which enabled her to regain some independence, and secure the ongoing support she will require.
At Anthony Gold, our polytrauma solicitors recognise that the compensation at the end of the claim is only part of the picture. As well as negotiating the best settlements for our clients, we work tirelessly to secure early, extensive and ongoing rehabilitation. This is so important to ensure the best recovery possible for our clients.* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*