Daniel was involved in a serious pedestrian accident when he was walking home after seeing a friend. An unknown driver hit him and he was found lying on the road. The accident was so severe that he had no recollection of what had happened, and his last memory was being in his friend’s house.
Daniel was taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital. He was detained and subsequently transferred to the Ulster Hospital Dundonald. He sustained multiple injuries, including a severe open segmental intra-articular fracture of his right tibia. Daniel was taken to surgery where his wounds were debrided, and a fixator frame applied to his leg. Daniel was transferred to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald and treated by plastic surgeons. His first surgery attempted to stretch some skin over the open fracture. This was unsuccessful and he underwent a second procedure to do a local rotation of some adjacent muscle with split skin grafting. He had split skin graft from his left upper thigh to cover the exposed muscle.
He was then transferred back to the Royal Victoria Hospital two weeks later and some further shortening was done of the tibial shaft fracture. The frame was removed and a llizarov frame with five rings was applied to the right lower leg. Daniel was then transferred to Musgrave Park Hospital for a period of over 3 weeks. He has approximately 4cm of shortening of the left leg.
He was supplied with a build-up shoe which allowed him to walk. Daniel was treated as an outpatient with physiotherapy and attended the limb reconstruction clinic at Musgrave Park Hospital. He has subsequently underwent, further surgery to adjust the llizarov frame. He attended outpatients for a significant period of time.
Daniel reached out to our serious injury solicitors in Belfast
Daniel clearly suffered significant life changing injuries to his right lower leg. He decided to pursue a claim for compensation as a result of his injury. He carried out an internet search and chose this firm for our extensive experience in making claims against untraced drivers.
A letter of claim was sent to the Motor Insurers Bureau, who investigated the matter. Reports were obtained from an orthopaedic surgeon, a plastic surgeon, a consultant psychiatrist, a consultant neurologist, an ankle specialist, a dermatologist as well as a care expert and an accountant. The MIB produced a report from a medical consultant which sought to question the mechanics of the accident and whether the Plaintiff was on the road or the footpath when he was struck by a car. It was generally accepted that he was struck by a car. In light of this defence report, the Motor Insurers Bureau suggested a 60/40 split in favour of the Plaintiff on the issue of liability. This was rejected out of hand. The MIB’s expert report was suggesting that the Plaintiff was on the highway when he was struck and that he was not standing upright when he was struck.
We negotiated with the MIB
In light of the MIB not accepting full liability, we instructed a consulting engineer with a special expertise in accident reconstruction. The conclusions of that report were as follows:
- There was no doubt that our client sustained his injuries as a result of an impact by a vehicle.
- If our client was wearing shoes at impact when the vehicle occurred and they separated from his feet during the incident, the engineer felt that this would provide support for the proposition that our client was upright when struck by a vehicle. He would not have expected both shoes to separate from our client if only his right leg was run over by a vehicle.
- Furthermore, the Plaintiff was wearing a backpack and a number of items were found separate from the Plaintiff at the collision scene. The engineer felt that this would provide very strong support for the proposition that the Plaintiff was upright and struck by a vehicle.
- The engineer felt that there was nothing in the file to rule out the scenario that the Plaintiff was upright and positioned on the footpath when he was struck and projected forwards ahead of the vehicle.
Normally, an engineer’s report such as this is not served with the Defendant. However, in an effort to move matters forward, we took the unusual decision to share it with the Motor Insurers Bureau. In light of our engineer’s report, the Motor Insurers Bureau reassessed its position and formally admitted liability in an offer to us.
The MIB argued that Daniel would be able to continue on in his current job. Our accountancy report provided a number of different scenarios regarding Daniel’s long term work. Initial negotiations resulted in an offer of £280,000 being made. This was rejected out of hand and the case settled for £350,000 with the Motor Insurers Bureau paying an additional £13,000 of state benefits back to the government.
Paschal O’Hare has been helping seriously injured people across Northern Ireland for over 50 years. We know how these injuries can impact a person’s life and we’re ready to help. Learn more about our serious injury services or contact our solicitors today.