A scaffolder from the south-east of England sustained a very serious brain and leg injuries while going about his daily work. He worked in the building trade and one morning had parked up alongside a building to be worked upon, ready to unload scaffolding with his assistants. The lorry was parked on the kerb, but jutting into the road. It was early morning and it had been a cold night. While the scaffolder was unloading poles from the back of his lorry, he and the lorry was struck by a car driver, clearly not noticing the vehicle parked into the road, perhaps due to an opaque windscreen.
Our client required a long period of hospitalisation, both for his brain injury and his leg injury, which ultimately required an amputation. Following a period of rehabilitation he required high-level care from his wife. As he was no longer able to negotiate stairs, alternative accommodation was sought to accommodate his requirement for long-term one-storey housing. However, this only came after a trial on responsibility for the accident, as the driver denied responsibility. It was argued that the lorry was inappropriately parked and that the scaffolder was the author of his own misfortune. Fortunately, the court was persuaded by our evidence that the driver was fully to blame for the accident.
After the trial interim payments of compensation followed. A new home could be purchased and for prosthetics bought, from a private provider, to meet this everyday needs. Unfortunately, the scaffolder had no realistic prospect of returning to work. There was real doubt as to any work he could now do and whether he would be able to manage his finances, once he received his compensation, due to his brain injury.
The final compensation claim included prosthetics to ensure that he had comfortable legs to wear at all times, for daily use, swimming and for sports-related activities. On-going privately funded therapies were also required and thus those needs were included as part of the compensation package, including care services. He also benefited from a brain injury case manager, sourcing various therapies, to maximise the recovery.
It is fortunate that it is no longer necessary to accept a cheque for the entirety of the compensation. An alternative is to take part of the compensation as a lump sum, often to purchase a new house and make adaptations to the house, with the balance of the settlement taken as annual payments, for the rest of the individual’s life. There are a number of advantages to taking annual payments of compensation. Two of these are that the annual payments will increase in line with inflation and, secondly, they will continue for as long as the person lives, so there is less risk of the money running out, which can happen with lump sum cases, where a guess has to be made about a person’s life expectancy. In this case, the scaffolder had a guaranteed income for life, for the benefit of himself and his family.
If you would like to enquire about making a head or brain injury claim following a car accident, fall, sporting injury or other incident, please contact one of our experienced brain injury solicitors on 0333 323 1640. Alternatively, please firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form and one of our team will be able to help you.