I acted on behalf of a Polish family man who sustained a brain injury while visiting relations and working in England.
One weekend, while staying with his brother in the Thames Valley region, this 30-year-old farmer went shopping, to buy some presents for his two sons in Poland. As he walked home, crossing a road, he was struck by a car. He sustained serious injuries.
The driver did not stop at the scene, but was subsequently arrested. The manner of driving was so extreme that it appeared the driver would ultimately stand trial for a serious driving offence. However, it was subsequently decided that by reason of his mental state, the driver did not have capacity to answer the offences and thus the family were not only left with a very seriously injured family member, but also the culprit escaping justice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
The family, both here in the UK and Poland, were upset. They could not understand the failure to prosecute in such a serious road accident, particularly as the brother lay in hospital, showing little response to stimulation.
The brain injury victim was eventually transferred to a neurorehabilitation unit, where he remained for some months.
I had been instructed to represent him and took instructions from the brother, in England. A claim was advanced against the driver and his insurers. Notwithstanding the lack of prosecution against the driver, the insurance company were persuaded on the evidence that their driver was culpable and thus eventually accepted liability for the injuries caused.
As the family did not speak English, they were communicated with in their mother tongue. Polish lawyers were also engaged, in Poland, to ensure his needs were catered for.
It was not possible to assess the value of the claim immediately as the victim remained in rehabilitation for some months. His wife, mother and children in Poland wanted him repatriated and thus work was undertaken to achieve this wish. In the meantime, he was transferred to a residential nursing home, to maintain his well-being, while he remained in a state of low awareness. He did not respond to stimuli.
While in a Thames Valley nursing home, repatriation was arranged. An appropriate hospital was identified in Poland, to meet his needs. If those needs, ie 24 nursing care, were not met, then there was a real risk of premature death.
The insurance company provided funds to fly the man back to Poland. He was cared for in a Warsaw hospital.
I arranged for British specialists to undertake an examination of the young man in the Polish hospital, including a local speaking care expert. It was reported that the hospital were not satisfactorily caring for him, with the result that he developed life-threatening bed sores. Therefore, research was undertaken to identify another institution, which would provide better care. Hopefully this would also be closer to the family home, which had to make 6 hour round trips to visit in Warsaw. While visiting the family provided supplementary nursing care.
Fortunately, a residential care home was opening close to the family home and therefore arrangements were made for him to be transferred to a town close to the Ukraine border. This took place, following which I travelled to Poland to establish his needs were being met, to meet those running the home and to visit members of his local family.
Once a medical prognosis was given and his needs were capable of assessment, negotiations were undertaken with the insurers’ lawyers. Those negotiations ultimately led to a satisfactory conclusion with sufficient funds being provided to meet his life-long care needs. The settlement figure was approved by the High Court of Justice.
If a claim had not been made to recover compensation then it is very likely he would have died soon after repatriation to Poland. The fact that IBB were acting meant his family had access to skills and money, to ensure that a suitable place was found to meet his care needs. If he had been allowed to stay in or return to a general hospital, without specialist knowledge and care, then there was a real risk of death due to the failure to treat the pressure sores. Not only did I appoint specialists in the UK to oversee his transfer and care in Poland but they also passed on their knowledge in care and rehabilitation to local workers, to give my client the best chance of survival.
Talk to IBB's specialist brain injury compensation solicitors for advice on dealing with life after your serious injury. We are members of Headway the Brain Injury Association and are accredited by the Law Society, as well as being recognised by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers . For more information just give us a call on 0333 123 9099 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .