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Sister A Griffin v L Naylor - Helen Reynolds, Spencers Solicitors

28/05/19. Quantum: (RTA, driver) right side rib fractures, bilateral haemothoraces, fracture right ilium of pelvis, vascular dissection left vertebral artery in the neck, right transverse process fractures of C6 L1-L3 of the spine, upper thoracic and cervical haematoma, right shoulder injury, seatbelt bruising.

Settlement: £33,000.

In February 2016, the Claimant (62 at the time of the accident) who was the driver of the vehicle was involved in a head on collision with the defendant at over 70mph. The Defendant’s vehicle crossed over onto the wrong side of the road, and into collision with the Claimant’s correctly proceeding vehicle. The Claimant had little memory of the accident. The insurers on behalf of the Defendant admitted liability for the accident following sight of the Police report. The Claimant was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital with multiple injuries. She was in an induced coma for 10 days and spent 3 weeks in hospital. On discharge from hospital she was cared for by her convent. The Claimant, a religious sister, was unable to work for approximately 3 months, following which she worked reduced hours.

Quantum

As a result of the incident, the Claimant suffered from; right side rib fractures, bilateral haemothoraces, fracture right ilium of pelvis, vascular dissection left vertebral artery in the neck, right transverse process fractures of C6 and L1-L3 of the spine, upper thoracic and cervical haematoma, right shoulder injury, seatbelt bruising.

The claimant received 6 months of intense physiotherapy. The neck pain improved, although as numbness in her right shoulder resolved, pain in this area increased. She also suffered with tiredness and back pain, and she was restricted in how far she could walk. The medical expert commented that the injuries suffered were severe and caused significant pain and dysfunction for at least 3 to 4 months. Initially, the most severe injury was the internal jugular vein haematoma, which eventually settled without any serious injury to the brachial plexus. The fractures of the spine and iliac crest resolved, though she was left with pain in her lumbar spine and her right shoulder. Scans showed evidence of pre-existing degenerative change, which was considered to have been made symptomatic as a result of the high velocity accident. The prognosis was for the symptoms to settle within 2 years post-accident. However, the pain in the back and right shoulder continued, and as such she received a further course of physiotherapy and injection treatment to the shoulder.

In addition to her physical injuries, the Claimant also suffered psychological symptoms in the form of travel anxiety, avoidance, sleep disturbance, irritability, and a lack of energy and motivation. The Claimant’s symptoms fulfilled a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for 12 months post-accident, followed by an Adjustment Disorder and Specific Phobia. A course of CBT treatment was recommended, which significantly improved the symptoms by around 2.5 years post-accident.

Although the Claimant continued to suffer minor symptoms in her shoulder area, and some ongoing travel anxiety, she chose not to seek further medical evidence.

Settlement was reached in the total sum of £33,000.00, which can be broken down as £7000.00 special damages including treatment fees and £26,000.00 PSLA. There was no claim for loss of earnings or any effect on future work, due to the Claimant’s position as a sister.

Liability Admitted: 9th February 2017

The claim was settled in October 2018 by way of acceptance of the Claimants Part 36 offer in the sum of £33,000

Helen Reynolds of Spencers Solicitors represented the claimant

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