Success Stories & Testimonials
Multi-million Pound Settlement Protects Catastrophic Brain Injured Client for Rest of his Life
Boyce Hatton Personal Injury Partner and Catastrophic Injury Specialist Mark Pierce has obtained a settlement for one of his clients which equates in value to nearly £7.5 million.
S sustained a catastrophic brain injury in a road traffic accident in 2008. As a result of his injuries, he lacked capacity to deal with his own affairs and was assisted in the litigation process by his mother. With our help, S now has a secure financial base to meet his future needs.
S’s needs are very considerable. Initially, he was cared for in specialist brain injury facilities. Once he left, we purchased a bungalow on his behalf and it was adapted so that it was fully suitable for his needs and disabilities which are both physical and mental. A team of specialist carers were recruited to supervise and care for S on a 24/7 basis, a regime that will continue for the rest of his life.
A car was also purchased on S’s behalf so that his carers can transport him. The car was specially adapted so that it was completely wheelchair accessible.
The final settlement guarantees S an income of nearly £200,000 a year for the rest of his life together with a lump sum payment of £2.25 million. This income will ensure that S is cared for for the rest of his life. S will continue to receive a high level of care including physiotherapy and psychological assistance to accommodate his various physical and mental needs. In addition a professional Court of Protection Deputy has been appointed and funded to manage S’s financial and property affairs.
Mark Pierce, Catastrophic Injury Specialist has commented as follows on this difficult and complex case:
“This has proved to be the most complex claim that our Personal Injury Team have ever dealt with but has proved a rewarding experience and consolidated Boyce Hatton’s specialism in catastrophic brain injury claims.
There is a danger of not conducting these cases properly if you do not have the correct input and advice from experts. This then results in substantial under-settlement of cases which has recently been identified as a worrying issue by the Association of Personal Injury Solicitors (APIL) of which our Personal Injury Team are members. APIL have identified that catastrophic injury cases are regularly under-settled by solicitors with inappropriate experience who fail to understand and assess the complex needs of clients in cases of this nature.
You as a reader will know what very poor returns you are getting from any savings account you might have and that is why the type of structured settlement that has been reached in this case gives a large lump sum of money to keep in a pot and invest going forward, but that each year an annual amount or periodical payment will be received for as long as he lives thus meeting all his costs of care etc. These payments are indexed to specialist Indexes like the RPI which ensure that the money does not fall behind and keeps pace with wage and other inflation.”
Claims for elderly clients
Mrs P was in her seventies when she fell in a publically owned building. She sustained a severe blow to her head resulting in a head injury which left her confused and with memory, concentration and other problems. It transpired that the floor had been overly polished and made unnecessarily slippery. Liability was admitted and we secured for Mrs P over £120,000 in compensation for her injuries and the many problems that she faced in re-arranging and re-organising her life to adapt to her injuries which did improve with time with excellent rehabilitative treatment that we organised after securing an interim payment. The sum provided her with sufficient money to re-enter the housing market with her husband and buy a small purpose built flat suitable to their needs.
Mrs F came to us after a nasty tripping accident at a supermarket resulting in both her left and right arms being fractured badly leaving her with considerable limitations. This claim was unusual in that Mrs F had decided to continue to work way beyond normal retirement age, was in good health and enjoyed her work. We secured over £120,000 in compensation which was principally for future loss of earnings. It is rare that a future loss of earnings claim succeeds where a person has passed normal retirement age.
Thrown from pram at just 3 months
X was injured in a road traffic accident when she was just 3 months old resulting in a catastrophic head injury. This was a long running claim as it was impossible to determine the full extent of the injury until X was well into her teenage years. Initially there was a dispute on liability which resulted in a trial on liability alone, in which we were successful. We then had to determine the nature and extent of the injury with the assistance of multiple experts. There was then a further trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to determine the amount of compensation that X should receive. This resulted in the court approving an award of nearly £4.3 million.
X requires considerable ongoing supervision and is very unlikely to be able to work on a commercial and full-time basis. She now has a number of professional supporters to assist her in her day-to-day life and to advise her in relation to her money and its management which included the acquisition of a property in conjunction with her parents where she can live separately with a support network but under her parents’ watchful eye.
Knocked over and brain damaged by an uninsured driver
When C was a child, she was involved in a road traffic accident where the driver was uninsured. As a result of the accident, C sustained, amongst other injuries, a catastrophic head injury. As there was an admission of liability, C was able to attend a residential placement at a specialist rehabilitation centre where she had access to the best rehabilitative treatment.
We secured for C a lump sum of £750,000 together with an annual payment of around £100,000 to reflect C's ongoing care and rehabilitation needs for the rest of her life. Armed with the lump sum C was able to look at an appropriate property and to have professional carers look after her on a day-to-day basis. Awards of lump sums and Periodical Payments Orders as they are known are very valuable ways of making sure that compensation lasts for a client’s lifetime if they have ongoing needs which need to be met on a week to week, month to month basis. This claim was complicated by the fact that the driver who caused the accident was uninsured. Just because someone is uninsured does not mean that compensation cannot be obtained and under the Uninsured Drivers Scheme run by the Motor Insurers' Bureau, the Motor Insurers' steps in to deal with the claim.
Horse-riding instructor badly injured
Mr J was thrown from a horse whilst working for a riding stable. The claim raised interesting issues of responsibility of owners for the actions of their animals, and in particular horses under the Animals Act. In addition, it raised Health & Safety issues as the route along which the horse was being taken along with others skirted a busy high speed rail track which may have partially led to the unsettling of the horses which resulted in our client being thrown from the saddle of the horse onto the hard tarmac resulting in a serious head injury, despite the fact that Mr J was wearing a helmet. The injury left Mr J with an altered personality but reasonably independent. He was unable to pursue his chosen career and we secured £475,000 for him to provide a secure base for his future.
Rear seat passenger, seat belt not worn
Mr S was injured in a road traffic accident when the car he was travelling in crashed into a wall and Mr S was thrown from the rear seat of the car into the windscreen sustaining amongst other injuries, a serious head injury. Unfortunately, Mr S was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident which may have prevented some of his injuries. As a result of the accident, Mr S was unable to continue his career in the building trade but, with some assistance, he was able to live independently.
Although the Defendants initially denied responsibility, prior to the hearing settlement was reached with the Defendants admitting that they were 75% responsible for the injuries sustained.
Following the settlement, substantial interim payments were obtained to assist Mr S financially as he had not been able to work since the accident. In addition, rehabilitative treatment was provided to try to maximise Mr S's potential. The claim eventually settled with Mr S receiving the total sum of £440,000 providing him with a secure base and allowing him to live relatively debt free for the remainder of his life whilst he tries to return to part-time work.
Amputation of leg avoided
Mr M sustained a severe leg injury when he was involved in a serious road traffic accident where he had to be cut out of his vehicle by fire fighters. We were able to obtain £120,000 in interim payments for state of the art surgery on his leg which, following numerous operations, saved it from amputation.
We were also able to obtain rehabilitative treatment to improve Mr M's quality of life and, hopefully, allow him to return to a degree of normality although he will always be left with pain and scarring.
Mr M's claim settled for over £300,000. Some of this sum was awarded for future surgery that will be needed within the next 5 to 10 years.
Have a go hero who faced Claim
Mr W instructed us to defend a claim that he had received made against him for trespass to the person and unlawful imprisonment.
The claim arose out of an incident where Mr W had intervened when a suspected shop lifting incident turned nasty. Whilst a Security Guard was apprehending the suspecting shoplifter, a second man, Mr M attempted to interfere to prevent the Security Guard from restraining the suspected shoplifter. Mr W apprehended Mr M until the Police arrived.
Mr M then made a claim against Mr W for trespass to the person and unlawful imprisonment. Mr M was seeking compensation for being restrained and for a minor elbow injury.
Court proceedings were issued by Mr M and the matter went to trial where we were successful in defending the claim made against Mr W. At the hearing, the Court also ordered that Mr M pay Mr W’s legal costs in defending the action.
Faulty Thermostat Causes Injury
For most personal injury claims there is a three year limitation period. What this means is that Court proceedings must be commenced no later than three years from the date that the cause of action arose. Miss T approached us three days before limitation was due to expire following an incident that occurred whilst she was living in student accommodation. As a result of a faulty thermostat, she received an electric shock causing injury.
Miss T was previously represented by a national firm who had discontinued her case advising that it did not enjoy reasonable prospects of success.
Boyce Hatton took on the case and issued protective Court proceedings so that she was not time barred for making a claim. We then had four months to collate all of the evidence necessary to prove Miss T’s claim including liability evidence and medical evidence. At the end of the four months the case had to be served on the Defendant.
The matter settled after Court proceedings were issued but before the trial with Miss T receiving the sum of £9,500 plus costs.
Mr T was injured in two road traffic accidents, two years apart. As a result of the accidents he sustained amongst other injuries, a serious back injury.
The case was complicated by the fact that there was an overlap in the injuries and we therefore had to determine what injuries were attributable to the first accident and what injuries were attributable to the second accident.
Settlement was reached with Mr T receiving the total sum of £60,000 for both claims.
“As ever I remain in your debt for the wonderful work that you have done for my son with care, compassion and total professionalism.”
“Thank you very much for all your hard work.”
“Many thanks for making my accident claim journey as pleasant as possible, you were a great help to me.”
“Thank you so much for your hard work and effort with this case. I know I did not make it easy for you with the time restrictions, my work hours and my relocation. I really appreciate you always keeping me updated by all forms of communication and dealing with my queries promptly and with clear explanations.”
“I would like to thank you for all of your hard work over the last 7 years, I know that it is your job but I found you to be professional and personable. I feel a weight has lifted off my shoulders.”
Re a Child
“Mark Pierce is very efficient, thorough and professional but also very approachable and explains everything in a way that is easy to understand"