Spinal Injury

Failed road repair causes significant spinal injury and treatment costs taking all damages.

Mr E  was driving on the M25 on a dark night shortly after roadworks had been cleared. A repair carried out in those roadworks had failed, leaving a large hole in the road that would not have been obvious in the car’s headlights.

Completely unaware of the danger lying ahead, Mr E drove towards this damaged piece of road at what would normally be considered a safe motorway speed. The failure of the road surface was invisible from the driving seat – so Mr E unwittingly drove into it. This caused significant damage to his car but, much more significantly, his wife suffered a significant spinal injury.

The defendant identified early on that they had no defence, having failed to ensure that the road was safe. They made a substantial a pre-med offer. Mrs E suffered a potentially very serious spinal injury and the solicitors could not possibly assess the level of damages without expert medical advice.

However without ATE cover, any damages obtained – if they could not beat the offer – would be consumed by a set-off.

The medical evidence and reassurance that the offer was sufficient to cover Mrs E’s medical and care needs as well as her loss of earnings could not be obtained at short notice. She endured some months of treatment and assessment before it became clear that the offer was capable of acceptance, though this was not until shortly before the listed trial.

Happily Temple were able to provide ATE insurance cover. Without this, the client could not have obtained that evidence. She would have been left waiting for NHS treatment or risk losing a significant proportion or all of her damages.  When the bill from the defendants was received for their costs after the expiry of the offer, we were able to deal with that, enabling that Mrs E could keep her damages.

If you would like further details on how Temple ATE insurance for personal injury claims can protect you and your clients, please call Alex Stracey on 01483 514870 or via email to