How a second opinion helped
Nathan’s motorbike accident took place in January 2006 in Kent when he was riding his Honda. Another driver failed to see him, didn’t give way at a junction and pulled out right in front of him. Nathan’s injuries included a mild head injury, and significant fractures to his left femur and tibia. More distressingly for him, the accident caused some acute psychological disturbances which Nathan struggled to overcome for over three and a half years.
Medically speaking, Nathan’s femur fracture united after several months but his tibia fracture did not unite. Nathan ultimately underwent a bone graft and several other procedures before the matter was properly treated. Shortly afterwards, his Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon suggested that he return back to his job as a steel operative. He couldn’t understand why Nathan hadn’t done so since his accident, and actually implied that Nathan’s agitation about returning to work was all made up. That was enough for the Defendant’s insurance company to stop releasing any interim payments. Nathan had no option but to return to work where he really struggled.
But he still suffered badly from pain in his left leg. As his solicitors, we felt that there was a lot more to this than originally met the eye so a new diagnosis was sought out. We consulted another Orthopaedic Surgeon who immediately confirmed the presence of chronic complex regional pain syndrome. We asked a Consultant Pain Specialist and he too agreed with those findings. So, in other words, there was no way that Nathan was making it all up.
Finally we got him into the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath for which we needed an interim payment from the insurance company that would enable him to travel there to attend a two-week residential programme. And this was when the Defendant’s solicitor caved in and released the funds.
These kind of tactics do occur occasionally in cases like this – they’re often designed to rattle the Claimant and undermine them. We were able to persuade Nathan that we believed in him completely, that it was just a stunt on behalf of the Defendant’s solicitor and that we weren’t put off by this announcement. So we went right ahead and applied for that interim payment and, sure enough, just before the hearing was due to go to court, the Defendant’s solicitor caved in and released the funds.
On his residential course, Nathan learned all about the benefits of destressing and relaxation. He had daily hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions, as well as cognitive behaviourial therapy to help him cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Naturally with our quest for a proper diagnosis for Nathan, the Defendant’s stance including the surveillance footage stunt and wheeling out various other ‘experts’, Nathan’s own treatment requirements, re-examinations and so on, this claim has taken quite a long time to be resolved. The good news throughout is that Nathan was getting the support – both financially and emotionally – to help keep him keep going through a rather lengthy process.
And now it looks like things are finally coming good for him. He enrolled in a three-year computer science degree at Canterbury Christchurch University after realising that a more sedentary career is probably the best way forward for him. His claim has just settled with a six figure sum to take account of his reduced earning capacity and all his treatment costs, driving lessons and the increased cost of running a car over a motorbike. Nathan never learned to drive because he was always a bike nut, but since his accident, he’s staying well clear of motorbikes and opting for a car instead.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury like Nathan, then please don’t hesitate to call us now on 0330 013 0251 to talk to someone who’ll understand what you’re going through. Or alternatively, you can fill out a form here.
Louise Riley - Case Solicitor
Key case timeline
Mild head injury, compound fractures to left femur and tibia, complex regional pain syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder over a period of 3.5 years
Six figure sum payment
A proper diagnosis, specialist treatment, a return to a normal life
Nathan is now studying Computer Science at Canterbury Christchurch University. His plan is to move into a career in the IT industry.