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Case Study – Mrs V car accident personal injury claim

In 2006 Mrs V was a back seat passenger in a car driven by her husband, in which their two friends were also travelling, when it was in a head-on collision caused by the another motorist.

Primary liability was accepted but there was argument over contributory negligence as Mrs V was not wearing a seatbelt. However, with the support of a seatbelt expert, we ultimately proved that wearing a seatbelt would have made no difference to the main personal injuries. It was a sports coupe and her legs were tightly against the back seat anyway.

The Claimant’s main injury was a severely fractured femur which required surgery and metalwork. She had further surgery in late 2007 to remove the screws as they were protruding into the knee joint. There was doubt even at that stage that the fracture had united. She continued to only partially weight-bear on the leg and continued with hydro therapy and physiotherapy. It was not until April 2008 that the fracture was confirmed to have united. However, Mrs V continued to have limited mobility and pain and discomfort.

Mrs V also suffered from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). She received treatment arranged by her case manager. She did not return to driving until April 2010 by which time her husband was gravely ill with cancer. She was not able to provide support to him as she would have wished because of her condition.

The Case

There was a claim for loss of earnings and loss of pension as the Claimant took partial ill-health retirement in June 2010 – Mrs V had been 55 years old at the date of the accident.

The personal injury team at George Ide LLP, led by Claire Watson, built up a persuasive body of medical evidence – orthopaedic, orthotics, psychiatry, care aids and equipment.

We worked closely with Tony Coleman in whom Mrs V had the utmost respect and trust.
Proceedings were commenced in December 2009. Primary liability was accepted but the seatbelt point was argued and the Claimant was put to proof on all her losses.

Case details

It was a fight all the way. The trial was listed for October 2012. A joint settlement meeting in September 2012 resulted in some issues being narrowed and Claire was subsequently able to negotiate a further increase and the case was settled for £225,000.

The team for George Ide comprised Claire Watson &ndas; Lead Partner, Tony Coleman – Counsel, Monica Greenwood – Case Manager (early action).

Important points

This case was a long battle where the Defendant’s legal team were not open to a consensual approach. We believe that Mrs V valued the support that was given by Claire Watson and her personal approach to ensuring she was supported as much as possible throughout the claims process.