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Road Traffic Accident Compensation Case Study

£5.2M settlement for M11 road traffic accident victim

Colin Cook, Partner at Hatch Brenner Solicitors on Theatre Street in Norwich, recently helped a local woman recover a £5.2M settlement following a catastrophic injury sustained in a road traffic accident on the M11.

The Claimant, a part-time worker, was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was involved in a collision. She sustained a burst fracture of her spine resulting in paraplegia.

Colin Cook commented: “The Hatch Brenner Dispute Resolution team is delighted to have reached this settlement for our client. Following her injury, she required a rehabilitation package and extensive adaptations to her living accommodation to address her complex care needs. She and her family have had to be re-housed with her new accommodation specifically adapted to meet her needs to include provision for live-in carers.”

Following an initially cooperative approach towards the Claimant’s care needs, the Defendant in the case disputed the extent to which her accommodation needed to be adapted, the level of care needed and the amount of adaptive equipment required.

Mr Cook added: “In complex cases like this one, the compensation awarded is vital in allowing the client to fulfil a genuine need for rehabilitation and lifestyle adaptations following such serious injuries.

“There are many different options available. In this case, the Claimant presented on the basis of a combined lump sum and periodical payment order. The parties ultimately reached a compromise of a full lump-sum basis; the Claimant seeking a premium to allow the Defendant to “buy off“ the periodical payment order.

“We have the experience to advise our clients on their best options to ensure they receive the maximum amount of compensation in the most appropriate and beneficial form to suit their particular needs and requirements.”

Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Compensation Settlement

Six-figure settlement for Claimant who defeats fundamental dishonesty allegation

Colin Cook also helped a local woman recover a six-figure settlement from an injury sustained in an accident at work. The injury was minor but, as a consequence, the Claimant went on to develop Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

Although she initially developed the condition in her injured foot, the case was unusual in that there was a rare (but recognised) diagonal transference of the condition to the opposite upper limb. The case was further complicated by the fact that the Claimant was Polish with a limited understanding of English. The use of interpreters was required particularly when the nuance of the Claimant’s evidence of her level of restriction was all-important.

The insurers for the Defendant sought to defend the claim by deploying surveillance evidence and raised an allegation that the Claimant was overplaying her symptoms and should receive no compensation because of her dishonesty.

The case was settled by negotiation for a sizable six-figure sum on the basis that the insurers were persuaded that the condition was genuine and resulted in an ongoing restriction of the Claimants' ability to work.

Colin Cook commented: “The Hatch Brenner Dispute Resolution team is delighted to have reached this settlement for its client. The compensation recovered in this case will help provide the Claimant with the necessary equipment to aid in her mobility and afford her a higher quality of life. CRPS is a condition which remains shrouded in mystery and for many insurers, this is an open invitation to challenge the honesty of Claimants whose lives become miserable due to the debilitating symptoms they suffer.”

Mr Cook added: “In complex cases like this one, attention to detail in the production of the evidence, together with the correct selection of medical experts, is vital.”

Marcus Grant of Temple Garden Chambers was the instructed Barrister for the Claimant on the case.

Road Traffic Accident Claim Case Study

Trainee engineer secures damages following a road traffic accident

Colin Cook helped a would-be engineer secure a high-value settlement following a road traffic accident.

The Claimant, a pedestrian at the time, was injured as a result of two vehicles colliding, which subsequently collided with him. He sustained psychological trauma and permanent physical injuries that limited his ability to stand, walk and run. A lover of football, he was prevented from participating in the sport at a recreational level.

The claimant had a pre-existing disability, which limited his employment options. Those options were further restricted by his injuries. At the time of his injuries, he was training to become an engineer in a field where success relied upon his physical condition. His training was cut short due to the injuries he sustained and a return to training looked doubtful.

The two drivers involved in the accident argued between themselves as to who was to blame and, while the Claimant was clearly not at fault, both drivers refused to release interim payments until liability was resolved.

Hatch Brenner pushed for a split trial to resolve the liability issue so interim payments could be released. This could be used to fund important rehabilitation in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy to address psychological trauma. Liability was conceded between the Defendants only a matter of weeks before trial.

The case was subsequently settled by negotiation on the basis of the Claimant's further limited employment options.

Colin Cook commented: “The behaviour of the insurers, in this case, was frustrating given that my client could not be held to be in any way responsible. It might have been more sensible for one insurer to deal with my client’s case and then come to an arrangement with the other insurer later. Nevertheless, the extent of my client’s ongoing restriction only became fully apparent over time so ultimately my client benefited from the delay brought on by the insurers’ tactics.”

Marcus Grant of Temple Garden Chambers was the instructed Barrister for the Claimant on the case.

Accident at Work Compensation Case Study

Prison officer assaulted at work

The Claimant prison officer was assaulted by an inmate when dealing with a prisoner on ‘suicide netting’. A prisoner on the suicide netting should only be removed by a specialist team, but the Claimant was ordered to respond and physically remove the prisoner.

In the process of doing so, the prisoner became aggressive and assaulted the Claimant. He kicked the claimant in the face, connecting with his nose, which was split open and required surgery. He also suffered an exacerbation of pre-existing migraines, was unable to wear glasses and had extensive neurological pain in his face. He was left with low mood and facial scarring.

Liability for the incident was admitted by the prison and the only issues related to the value of the claim.

The claimant was unable to carry out his previous tasks as a front-line prison officer and was demoted, suffering a significant wage reduction and pension loss.

The claim was amicably resolved shortly following a settlement meeting for a six-figure sum. Chartered Legal Executive Simon Bransby acted for the Claimant under the Morgan Jones Pett firm. Simon now practises with the Hatch Brenner Solicitors team and can be contacted at simonbransby@hatchbrenner.co.uk.

How we can help you

Accidents and injuries can have a wide range of effects, many of which may not be obvious immediately after an accident. As a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), our team has represented victims in a wide range of cases. To find out more about our expertise, please call 01603 660 811.

Read more: How can I fund a claim for a personal injury?

Colin Cook, Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution Department specialises in Brain Injuries, Accident Claims and Medical Negligence.

Morgan Jones Pett Solicitors

Morgan Jones Pett have joined the Hatch Brenner Solicitors team.

‘The brain injury claim was complicated. It demanded of the legal team the highest levels of competence, excellence and professionalism which they all delivered without exception.’

‘I have worked with Colin on head injury claims for c.15 years and there are few solicitors in the country who can match his level of insight and expertise.’

‘You and your firm have guided me in a way that has made all the difference to how I would have been able to deal with it.’

If you would like further information about any service, call us on 01603 214220