We’re really proud of this case because it’s a great example of someone faced with a horrific change in their life taking the bull by the horns and turning everything around to make it work to their advantage.
We’re talking about Craig Knight who had a bad motorcycle accident in September 2007 in which his lower leg was severely injured. He was filtering along a major road alongside stationary traffic when the Defendant drove out from a minor road right into his path.
Craig sustained a compound fracture to his left lower tibia and fibula, an undisplaced pelvic fracture and a soft tissue injury to his left knee. Not to mention psychological consequences following on from the accident and his injuries.
His shin bones united badly with shortening, causing him severe discomfort when walking, while his left knee remained highly unstable. Mobility was severely compromised with a resulting case of constant lower back pain.
All in all, not good. In fact, the medics said Craig was functioning at the same, if not a lesser, level as a transtibial amputee (i.e. below the knee). Worse still, they told him that his condition would deteriorate with age, something Craig was already suspecting because of the excruciating pain and mobility problems he was experiencing. He realised that he would ultimately have to undergo a below the knee amputation. Psychologically of course, it was also a huge decision to have to make, but one that he knew he would have to get to grips with five years after settlement, if not sooner, as he was expected to have to undergo the amputation and his settlement factored this in.
Craig worked as a motor parts fitter for a national outfit, but his disability now meant that he could no longer continue in that job. His employers very gamely tried to find him a sedentary role but there were no such positions so they had to let him go.
As liability in Craig’s claim was highly contentious, it was ultimately settled at 50/50. Nevertheless, he was awarded a generous compensation which will help cover some of the major costs in Craig’s life such as loss of earnings, pension loss, a below the knee amputation, prosthetics, care, child care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, counselling, the need for single storey accommodation and pain medication.
However, what we’re particularly pleased about is the way that Craig has gone on to bigger and better things. After his accident and during the course of his claim, Craig met his fiance in a Nottingham pub. She is Icelandic. Craig had never travelled before so this gave him the impetus he needed to go get a passport for the first time and journey to Iceland in January 2010. He hasn’t come back! He’s built a new life for himself out there with his fiance, has become a dad twice and couldn’t be happier. This is exactly what we mean when we say that serious injury doesn’t have to signify the end of your life. It can herald the start of a new one.