Bus leaves cyclist with life-changing leg injury after accident
Road traffic accidents can cause injuries that have a lifelong impact. In an ongoing case, Ann Summerling at Geoffrey Leaver is acting for a client whose serious leg injury has had an immeasurable effect on his professional, personal and family life.
Mr G was a 36-year-old warehouse worker and cleaner living in London. One morning in August 2019, whilst cycling to work, he was knocked off his bike by a bus. Mr G was dragged underneath the bus for around ten metres, resulting in an open fracture in his leg.
Mr G was taken by ambulance to hospital, where his leg was stabilized with a external metal fixator, and then some days later he had an operation to fix the fracture by inserting a metal nail into his leg. A skin graft was also taken from Mr G’s right (uninjured) leg and put over the open wound to help it heal. He stayed in hospital for over two weeks and when he went home he could only mobilise with the help of crutches. He had to live upstairs for around six months where he had access to the family bathroom, as he could not get up and down stairs. He needed a lot of help from his wife and family with personal tasks such as washing, dressing, preparing him meals and drinks etc.
This was a very serious leg injury and the fracture took over a year to unite. With a metal nail in his leg, Mr G was in a lot of pain and was not able to return to either of his physically demanding jobs. In January 2021, after a year and a half of unemployment, he went back to work part time for one of his employers in a ‘desk job’ because of his physical limitations.
Not only did the accident greatly affect Mr G’s professional life, but also his personal life. Previously, Mr G would send a proportion of his salary to his children living in Ghana to contribute towards their food, education and clothing. Because he had been unable to work for so long, he could not support his children financially and this made him feel guilty and depressed. Money was even tighter because Mr G’s wife had lost some of her own work due to the pandemic.
Before the accident, Mr G and his wife used to share responsibility for household tasks. Because of his injuries, Mr G could no longer help with tasks such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, or gardening.
What we did
Mr G sustained life changing injuries. He knew he had to do something about it, and he instructed Ann Summerling at Geoffrey Leaver to seek appropriate compensation. Ann submitted a claim for compensation to the bus company responsible for the accident and liability was admitted relatively quickly.
Ann obtained Mr G’s medical records and arranged for him to be examined by a lower limb specialist orthopaedic surgeon, in order to provide medical evidence on the injuries he had suffered and giving a prognosis for his future. It was important to understand whether he would ever be able to return to physical work or whether he would be restricted to lighter desk based roles as this would have an impact on how much he was able to earn in the future.
Geoffrey Leaver successfully obtained interim payments for Mr G to help with his finances while he couldn’t work. The money also paid for private surgery and private physiotherapy.
Mr G’s condition has improved since the accident, but it has now reached a plateau. To improve further he will need to have the metal rod removed from his leg, which should lessen his pain and discomfort. He will also need two plastic surgery procedures if he wants to improve the appearance of the unsightly scar and lump from the skin graft. Ann will ensure that Mr G gets all the money he will need for this future treatment.
The case is ongoing, but is estimated to be worth a six-figure sum and should be settled by the end of this year.
Ann said: ‘This case concerned a hard-working, humble man doing his best to get his life back to normal. The type of client you want to do your very best for’.
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