A family beginning to rebuild their lives
In this tragic story, a young woman lost her life while giving birth to twins. Her partner’s and the family’s life was destroyed, but they are now beginning to plan ahead for the future.
This story, when a young lady passed away while giving birth to twins, was reported on national TV and by various national newspapers.
The woman’s partner’s life was destroyed, and he was subsequently left with three young children, as a result of accepted negligence on behalf of the NHS Trust.
The case was eventually settled for a six-figure sum against the NHS trust and, although the settlement funds will never bring back the mother, the funds have assisted the children and partner for life.
The partner and the children are now moving forward in their lives as a result of the settlement. The family are now able to move on and attempt to rebuild their shattered lives, and plan ahead for their future.
A tale of resilience and building
Coming to terms with the consequences of paralysis is unimaginable, but this inspirational story shows that, with perseverance, resilience and the right support, you can rebuild your life.
Teifion (not his real name) lost the use of his legs, his job, his home and the life he knew in an instant, following a road crash that damaged his spinal cord. It could have happened to any one of us, but it happened to him and his family. The consequences were devastating.
The personal injury lawyer working for Teifion says: “It was a special privilege when we were entrusted to help rebuild his life. Our role, with medical and other professionals, was to ensure that he reached his maximum potential for recovery and was able to live his best life with his family.”
Teifion’s journey wasn’t easy. Coming to terms with the consequences of paralysis is unimaginable, but he faced it head-on and, with perseverance and exceptional physical and psychological resilience, was able to return to his family living in a fully adapted home.
He was also able to resume driving with an adapted vehicle. His earnings, benefits and pension loss were fully compensated and, with an excellent support team and legal case manager, he was funded for life.
In time, he was able to start travelling around the world again with his family. His lawyer even received a photo of him
paragliding in Spain. “That was just brilliant!” he says
A (new) place to call home
A baby suffers life-changing injuries on her way home from hospital.
The family’s life is turned upside down. What’s needed is a suitable home from which they can start to rebuild…
At only six days old, baby Araba (not her real name) was being driven home from hospital by her parents when their car was involved in a crash: a motorist pulled out of a side road causing her dad to take avoiding action that caused the car to collide with another vehicle. Tragically, Araba suffered a fracture to her spine resulting in paraplegia.
A personal injury lawyer started acting for her from a very early stage in her life. There were significant arguments about who was to blame but also allegations of negligence against her mother who was holding her daughter on her lap when the accident happened.
Having resolved liability, the lawyer was able to purchase a house which was adapted for Araba’s needs. This was important as the family home was too small and unsuitable. Araba’s lawyer worked with the family for six years helping her to receive the best possible rehabilitation and helping Araba to rebuild her life. The adapted home, car and treatment were just a few examples of how her lawyer made a difference for Araba.
You’re never too old…
After five long years, life can start again
It can be a long road rebuilding your life after a shattering injury. But, as this story shows, with the right support you really can get the outcome you deserve.
For Laila (not her real name), life changed forever on 16 May 2021.
Five years previously, she’d fallen from a horse in a riding lesson, suffering a spinal injury that paralysed her below chest level.
Laila had no recollection of how she fell nor what happened next. During her long stay in the spinal rehabilitation hospital, she became very depressed, and it was some time before she decided to seek legal advice.
The riding school said the fall was just a tragic accident. Her lawyer’s enquiries, however, suggested that negligence and an inadequate first aid response had caused the paralysis. Despite strenuously denying these things, this year the school’s insurers agreed a substantial out-of-court settlement weeks before the trial.
The settlement will massively improve Laila’s quality of life. Now she can afford adaptations to her home. She can fund help. She can go on holiday with her family for the first time in five years. In addition, the huge amount of witness statements, documents and expert evidence obtained during the legal process have given her an understanding of how and why her injury happened.
Laila no longer questions whether she did anything to contribute to her injury and is able to move on with a brighter future ahead
It’s the relationship that makes the difference
When someone’s life gets turned upside down, they don’t just need a lawyer; they need a friend. This story shows how important that client-lawyer relationship can become:
Jordan (not his real name) was a young married man with two young children. His wife was the homemaker and he was the bread-winner – a mechanic.
One day, he was cycling down a semi-rural road where the tarmac had eroded from the roadside. His bicycle wheel hit an eroded patch and then struck the remains of an old metal post standing about one inch proud. He was thrown over the handlebars, crashing onto the road, shattering his collarbone and arm and leaving him with a number of other injuries. It was very clear that he would be off work for some considerable time.
When his personal injury lawyer met the family, both Jordan and his wife were in tears. How would they manage financially? When would he ever get back to work? What would be the long-term prognosis?
Liability was denied by the council; their inspection/ maintenance system was perfect and they had no liability for the old metal post. Several months later, the trial judge found for Jordan.
During that time, Jordan’s personal injury lawyer was the family solicitor, counsellor, friend and support. They could not have been more grateful and even sent the lawyer a thank-you card in which they wrote that he would never know how much he had helped them.
Providing security for the whole family
People who suffer negligence don’t just have to rebuild their own lives; they have to prepare their dependants and families for an uncertain future. Here’s how one personal injury lawyer helped a client rebuild on behalf of her son:
A couple of years ago, single mum Angela (not her real name) sought damages for a delay in diagnosing her breast cancer.
There had been an 18-month delay in diagnosing and treating a carcinoma in her left breast. Angela then had a left mastectomy, followed by five months of chemotherapy and a month of radiotherapy.
Had Angela been diagnosed earlier – as she should have been – she would still have needed a mastectomy but no chemotherapy or radiotherapy and probably would not have developed lymph node disease. Instead, she suffered:
- A delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer of 18 months
- Lymph node disease – by the time of the diagnosis 18 months later, the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes, requiring further surgery and resulting in extra symptoms
- Delayed reconstruction – but for the delayed diagnosis, she would not have required chemotherapy or radiotherapy and could have had an immediate reconstruction using implants
- Reduced life expectancy
- Adjustment disorder as a result of the negligence.
As a single mum and sole carer for her 10-year-old son, Angela was extremely concerned about what would happen to her son in the event of anything happening to her. The future is, of course, uncertain, but she was tremendously relieved and grateful to have received compensation which, she felt, would provide financial security for her son in case anything does happen to her.
She didn’t walk alone
Driven by hope, a man who suffered a horrific injury was able to resume his passion for caravanning and, ultimately, walk his daughter down the aisle. His personal injury lawyer takes up the story:
Ian (not his real name) suffered a fractured leg in a motorcycling crash and as a result developed a complex regional pain syndrome. The impact of his injuries turned his life upside down; he was unable to return to work, and his ongoing disability severely affected his home life and his ability to engage in his lifelong love of caravanning, a passion he shared with his wife.
Although liability was admitted relatively early, other aspects of the case were hotly disputed. Ian’s legal team worked hard to persuade the defendant to support Ian’s enrolment on a multidisciplinary pain management programme and to make an interim payment to meet the cost of a replacement vehicle, as well as a caravan that could be modified to accommodate Ian’s disability and the equipment he needed. A further substantial interim payment was later secured to enable Ian to purchase and adapt a new property more suitable to his needs, including a wet room, ramps and improved access.
The final settlement and overall care package allowed Ian to retain his independence and to continue to live a fulfilling life. The structure of the settlement struck an important balance between future security for Ian and his family, flexibility and tax efficiency. Ian’s immediate capital requirements were met and he also had a regular income to cover his future needs, providing peace of mind. Following the conclusion of the claim, Ian used his damages to undergo treatment that meant he could walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day and visit his son abroad – a trip that was unimaginable at the outset of the claim.
Disentangling a complex incident overseas
When an individual suffers an injury overseas, this increases the medical, legal and financial complexities. In this story, the personal injury lawyer had to meet a looming Spanish deadline before the rebuilding process could begin for the injured party:
At 58 years old, Sharon (not her real name) had to rebuild her life after her leg was badly broken in a motorcycle crash in Spain.
Without the help of her lawyer when it came to meeting the shorter (one-year) time limit for claims under Spanish law, she may not have received any compensation. Her lawyer had to chase the Spanish insurers and their representatives repeatedly.
Sharon’s £71,342 compensation included a £29,000 interim payment for private surgery in the UK because her bones did not heal properly in Spain.
She and her husband had been riding towards Alicante on their Kawasaki motorbike when it was hit by a car. She had been riding pillion. The car’s bumper hit her left leg.
Sharon underwent surgery in a Spanish hospital and was discharged several days later. She was in a wheelchair for three months, delaying her return to the UK.
This was a complex case. Although legal proceedings were issued in a UK court, damages were determined according to Spanish law. Complicating factors included the jurisdiction being outside the UK, a foreign insurer, Spain’s short one-year limitation period (compared with the UK’s three years) and the need for a substantial interim payment and expert evidence from a foreign lawyer regarding damages.
From catastrophe to independence
When you suffer a catastrophic injury, the aftermath isn’t just about medical treatment; you may need to reconfigure your home and how it functions. In this process, personal injury lawyers often play a crucial role:
Alice (not her real name) is a 39-year-old wife and mum who was injured when she fell through a section of an inflatable assault course that had been put up for a party in a relative’s garden. She suffered severe spinal injuries, resulting in complete paralysis from her chest down and had only limited arm movement, meaning she would be in an automated wheelchair for the rest of her life. Family life was turned upside down; her husband’s electrical business slumped as he looked after his wife, one of her children quit university to come home, and another refused to go to college so that they could be with their mum and help their dad.
Alice’s personal injury lawyer visited her in hospital when she was still coming to terms with everything, to see what could be done.
The man who had hired out the inflatable, it transpired, had no insurance, and the people who were throwing the party claimed that Alice had been using the inflatable incorrectly and that it was intended only for use by children. Alice had no recollection of what happened, and her lawyer had to piece together how her injury could have occurred by speaking to the hirer, getting an engineer to reassemble the inflatable, and getting witness statements from the other people at the party. This was tricky because of the family connection, and most didn’t want to be involved.
Ultimately, the case started with Alice giving evidence, but at that point the home insurance company made an offer that she accepted. This enabled her and her husband to complete work on a purpose-built bungalow adjacent to the family home, where Alice, her husband and carer could stay. The bungalow had lower kitchen units that she could access in her wheelchair, automatic doors throughout, wider door entrances, lighting that she could control via a remote, sensors, and temperature controls throughout so that she was comfortable. Obviously, the bathroom was wheelchair-friendly, and the carer had their own bedroom and ensuite.
The kids were also able to go back to their studies and move forward with their lives, and Alice’s husband was able to get back to running his business.
A moving story
When someone suffers a catastrophic injury they sometimes need a different prosthesis for each different situation or terrain. In this inspirational story, a personal injury lawyer explains more
Peter (not his real name) was on holiday and tripped on some loose cabling when walking along a breakwater. The fall resulted in a complex lower left leg fracture. Unfortunately, he had problems with bone union and then developed sepsis, which led to a below-knee amputation.
The injury had a devastating impact on Peter. His working life was over, and he was socially isolated and scared for his future. He was originally fitted with a basic prosthesis through the NHS. Due to the poor fit, he developed an ulcer on the bottom of his stump, leaving him in excruciating pain. The prosthesis was unusable, and he was wheelchair-bound.
His lawyer approached a specialist prosthetics provider for their input with regards to rehabilitation and equipment – and even secured funding. Peter now has the use of three prosthetics and has been able to return to swimming and independently showering using his waterproof prosthesis. Most importantly, he has been able to return to walking his beloved dogs thanks to a prosthesis that allows him to get around on different terrain. Post-settlement, he is now looking forward to the retirement he had dreamed of.