Serious Injury Case Study : Road Traffic Accident Claims Costs

 

Serious Injury Case Study: Road Traffic Accident Claims

ARC Costs were instructed by a Solicitor specialising in Serious Injury Road Traffic Accidents, to recover their legal costs following a case involving a Claimant who suffered serious personal injuries after being involved in a road traffic accident.

Facts of the Case: The Claimant contacted the instructing law firm after being injured in a road traffic accident, as they sought compensation for their life changing injures, losses suffered and damage to their vehicle.

The Claimant was struck by a car and knocked off his motorbike when the Defendant pulled out of a parking bay. He landed on his side on the other side of the road, and was then driven over by another vehicle, sustaining serious injuries.

Once they had obtained legal advice on the claims process for personal injury claims, the Claimant decided to pursue a claim for a Road Traffic Accident.

The Claimant was ultimately successful in receiving compensation for the injuries caused by the accident. As a consequence, the Solicitor was entitled to recover their costs following the acceptance of a Part 36 Offer, and ARC Costs were subsequently instructed to recover the road traffic accident claims costs.

 

Injuries: The Claimant suffered a clavicle fracture, multiple rib fractures and a hemopneumothorax, a superior and inferior rami fracture to his pelvis which was resolved by internal fixation surgery.

The Claimant also sustained a calcaneus fracture and dislocation to his left leg and left foot which required multiple surgeries, right sided pneumothorax, left heel injury, multiple areas of scarring and skin grafting on his left leg and a bladder injury.

He sustained intermittent erectile dysfunction and other penile symptoms, as a result of the pelvic injury.

 

Date Claim Initiated: January 2018

 

Date Claim Settled: December 2019

 

Complexities of the Case: The Defendant admitted liability within the required time limit following receipt of the Letter of Claim, which meant that the next step for the Claimant was to prove the extent of their injuries, caused by the accident, by obtaining expert medical evidence.

The Claimant suffered complex injuries requiring a number of experts to conduct medical examinations of the Claimant, and to provide a diagnosis of the injuries the Claimant suffered as a result of the road traffic accident, and to provide a prognosis as to the expected recovery.

Initially, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon was instructed to provide a report, which confirmed that the Claimant had suffered multiple complex injuries, including an injury to his right shoulder in the form of a clavicle fracture, which the expert expected the Claimant to recover from within approximately 12 to 18 months from the date of the accident. The Claimant also suffered a chest injury in the form of multiple rib fractures and a hemopneumothorax.

The Claimant’s chest injury healed within four months, but the Claimant suffered from persisting pain in cold or wet weather. The expert also confirmed the Claimant suffered a superior and inferior rami fracture to his pelvis which was resolved by internal fixation surgery. The expert opined that the Claimant would fully recover from his pelvic injury within 24 months from the date of the accident. The Claimant also sustained a calcaneus fracture and dislocation to his left leg and left foot which required multiple surgeries.

The expert opined that the Claimant would have discomfort in his left foot on a permanent basis and had a 30-40% risk of developing arthritis in his foot over a period of 3 – 5 years. It was also confirmed by the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon that the Claimant would be unable to return to his current place of work, complete any heavy manual work, or drive as a result of the injuries sustained.

The Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon recommended a further report should be obtained from a Urologist and a Plastic Surgeon, so that the Claimant’s injuries could be investigated further.

A Consultant Plastic Surgeon was also instructed, who confirmed that that the Claimant was likely to need ongoing surgery for management of chronic sinuses in his left heel, with the need for further orthopaedic and plastic surgeon treatment including skin grafting and bone grafting. They also confirmed that the Claimant would require skin grafting to improve the appearance of his scarring. The expert further opined that the Claimant would be compromised in the long term relating to putting pressure on his lower limbs, especially his left leg.

The Claimant was later examined by a Consultant Urologist who confirmed that the Claimant suffered a urethral injury in the accident that was repaired by an anastomotic urethroplasty. The Claimant had no lower urinary tract symptoms at the time of examination, but it was noticed that the Claimant suffered from intermittent erectile dysfunction which the expert confirmed was of a result of the pelvic injury suffered in the accident. The Claimant also suffered from other penile symptoms, but the expert expected a full recovery following a penile ultrasound scan.

To assist in the improvement of the Claimant’s injuries, he underwent a period of occupational therapy.

In addition to the medical examinations and treatment, an engineering expert was instructed to examine and prepare a report on the Claimant’s vehicle and the damage sustained as a result of the accident. The engineer confirmed that the Claimant’s motorbike was damaged to such an extent that it was no longer roadworthy, and that the total repair costs of the Claimant’s vehicle would be quantified in the sum of £3,989.

The costs incurred in this case were significant, due to the complexity of the Claimant’s injuries and the requirement for multiple expert reports. The Bill of Costs as prepared by ARC Costs totalled £46,974, and ARC Costs were also instructed by the Claimant Solicitors to assist in the recovery of said costs.

 

Settlement and Damages: The amount of compensation recovered for the Claimant was £500,000.

The Claimant, on the 18th December 2019, proposed a Part 36 Offer to the Defendant in the sum of £500,000, which was accepted by the Defendant on the 19th December 2019, thus concluding matters between parties save as to costs.

 

How Did ARC Costs Assist?

In order to bring a claim, a Solicitor must be able to successfully fund the matter. The matter was a no win, no fee claim, and was funded by way of Conditional Fee Agreement, meaning the costs were only recoverable on a successful conclusion of the case.

The Claimant Solicitors instructed ARC Costs to assist in the preparation of a Bill of Costs to serve upon the Defendant Solicitors, so that they could recover their road traffic accident claim’s legal costs.

ARC Costs expertly drafted the Bill of Costs and served the same with Notice of Commencement on the paying party. ARC Costs negotiated the costs and were successful in recovering £41,500, which was an 88% recovery of the total Bill amount.

 

How Can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs are highly experienced and have been successful in costs recovery in the vast majority of our dispute resolution cases, including those incurred in road traffic accident claims.

The recovery of costs in high value claims, caused by car accidents can be particularly complex due the fact that multiple experts opinions are often required, leading to significant costs.

Claims for high value, road traffic accident claims costs are highly contested by Defendants due to the significant costs incurred in bringing a claim, and proportionality is often brought into question, which is why it is important to instruct a specialist Law Costs Draftsman to quantify and negotiate your legal costs.

We can assist in recovering legal costs by drafting your Bill of Costs, as well as negotiating your costs with the other side before advising on whether the claim should proceed to a Detailed Assessment Hearing.  We can handle all aspects of detailed assessment proceedings, including the settling of Points of Reply and providing advocacy services.

We are an independent company, and can assist in the negotiation of a Bill of Costs, irrespective of whether you are a receiving or paying party.

We can be contacted via email at info@arccosts.co.uk, or by telephone on 01204 397302. For more information on legal costs, please find out more about our speciality areas of expertise and our services on our legal costs page.

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