The colleague was driving in excess of 60 mph around country lanes and bends. This resulted in him losing control of the van, crossing into the opposite carriageway, driving up a bank and colliding with a tree. The collision caused the vehicle to catch fire.
Stuart was 25 at the time and suffered significant injuries as a result of the accident, many of which are life-changing.
He had to be rescued from the vehicle and had to escape through the windscreen. He suffered multiple complications following the accident including infection, sepsis and thrombosis. His primary injuries were a severe pelvic fracture, anterior haematoma, focal dissection of the right external iliac artery, left shoulder dislocation, a rupture of the urinary system just below the bladder and damage to the prostate gland, damage to the pelvic fracture causing pain and altered sensation in his right and foot and psychiatric injury.
Stuart was in hospital for 10 weeks and had to use a wheelchair and then crutches for a total of 14 months. The damage to his urethra and prostate led to him requiring a urethral catheter for six weeks and a super pubic catheter for six months. Stuart's right leg is permanently shorter than his left by 2-3cms and he wears orthotics all the time. He suffers with daily back, hip, pelvic and foot pain and has altered sensation in his right leg arising from nerve damage and an unpleasant hot feeling. He has difficulty driving long distances and struggles to walk up hills.
The sites of the screws in his hip are palpable through his skin and he is unable to wear a belt or close fitting clothes. He has weakness, clicking and stiffness in his left shoulder which will be permanent. He has about 10% shoulder strength loss and fatigues more easily. Stuart also suffers from occasional urinary urgency and has episodes of stress incontinence as well as episodes of retrograde ejaculation and ejaculation contaminated by urine. As a result, he is likely to require IVF assistance in the future to have a family. Stuart also suffered with significant flashbacks and episodes of PTSD as a result of the accident.
Prior to the accident, Stuart enjoyed a very active and outdoors lifestyle. He was fit and well and had aspirations of working as a gamekeeper and had already gained all the qualifications he required. He had been offered an opportunity to work as a gamekeeper, but this was taken away from him because of the injuries he sustained and his physical limitations.
In addition to IVF treatment, Stuart will likely require two hip replacements in his lifetime due to degenerative changes in his hip. The accident had turned his world upside down.
We were able to recover nearly a seven-figure settlement for Stuart to compensate him for his past losses but most importantly to compensate him for his past and future loss of earnings as well as the cost of future private surgery to include his hip replacements, orthotics and fertility treatment as well as psychological treatment.
Stuart's future loss of earnings claim was particularly complex as we had to gather evidence as to his likely earnings as a gamekeeper and his career projection within that field and the likely additional benefits that he would have obtained from a role as a gamekeeper to include vehicle expenses and accommodation likely to have been included within his package.
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