10 December 2016 | Firm news | Article by Cari Sowden-Taylor

Cycling accident which leads to significant brain damage awarded six figure compensation

Our client was cycling along a village road when the defendant opened her car door, without warning, into the path of our client’s bicycle. Our client, who was not wearing a helmet, collided with the door of the vehicle and fell from her bicycle which resulted in her sustaining a severe brain injury, skull fractures, swelling of her brain and bleed to her right temporal lobe, as well as soft tissue injuries.  Our client was taken to hospital by air ambulance and, despite the serious nature of her injuries, she was discharged 4 days later into the care of her family.

For a significant amount of time, our client suffered severe headaches, pain, dizzy spells,  noise  intolerance,  light  intolerance,  loss of taste, loss of smell, fatigue, poor short term memory, loss of concentration, lack  of motivation, loss of coordination and dexterity, word finding difficulties and slurred speech.

The defendant admitted primary liability but argued that our client was contributory negligent for not wearing a helmet and would not have sustained her injuries if she’d been wearing a helmet.

Reluctantly the defendant’s insurer agreed for an immediate needs assessment to be carried out under the Rehabilitation Code. Various recommendations were made, but the defendant refused to provide funding and so an interim payment was sought and obtained which meant that much needed private occupational therapy and neuropsychological input could be provided.

Approximately 3 years post-accident, our client described odd sensations that she was experiencing and so she was referred to a consultant neurologist who concluded that she was suffering temporal lobe seizures. Medication was obtained to help regulate the sensations.

Four months prior to trial, we managed to settle our client’s claim by way of lump sum payment following a joint settlement meeting and achieved a significant six figured sum to reflect the amount of pain, suffering and loss of amenity, the treatment received and care costs.

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