The personal injury team at Penningtons Manches Cooper has recently negotiated the settlement of a claim for a client in his fifties who suffered a below knee amputation as a result of a road traffic accident. The claimant was riding his motorbike near his home when a car driver went through a red light at a traffic light controlled junction and collided with him. He was thrown from his bike but caught his leg, resulting in multiple injuries and ultimately the amputation.
The accident had a devastating impact – the claimant was a general builder by trade with many skills in physical trades and an individual who lived an active social and leisure life with his wife. Penningtons Manches Cooper brought a claim against the driver of the car, who transpired to be uninsured. He was also prosecuted by the police, but initially sought to avoid any conviction. Ultimately, he was successfully prosecuted and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) – which deals with injury claims against uninsured drivers – took responsibility for the claim. The MIB and its solicitors were very pragmatic in this case, and it proceeded by way of both parties fully investigating quantum, the claimant presenting his case in full and the parties attending a settlement meeting – which resulted in a very substantial award of damages for the claimant. Whilst clearly no sum of money will regain his previous quality of life, the damages will provide him with financial security and importantly will enable him to have lifelong bespoke prosthetics to maximise his independence and function, move to suitable accommodation, have care and assistance as he needs and compensate his reduced earnings capacity.
Philippa Luscombe, partner in the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches Cooper, who acted for the claimant, comments: “This was an entirely avoidable and very traumatic accident which has affected every aspect of our client’s life. It was disappointing that the other driver tried to avoid responsibility for the accident and subsequent prosecution but this is an example of the importance of having the Motor Insurers’ Bureau in place. We all have to pay towards it in our own car insurance policies, but it does mean that individuals suffering devastating injuries like our client due to the negligence of others are not left without a remedy. The MIB dealt with this claim swiftly and sensibly which has resulted in closure and a good settlement for our client and avoided prolonged litigation and high costs. Our client has been awarded compensation that will provide him with financial security and support, although it will never replace the lifestyle he had prior to the accident.”