How We Have Helped Our Clients

Below shows a number instances where we have helped our clients:

Case Study 1

In a recent case that Hugh James acted in, the client who had sustained a very severe brain injury was taken to hospital and it was found that they had sustained a tentorial subdural haemorrhage indicating that there was bleeding at the back of his head in the protective meninges layers.

As he regained consciousness, he was extremely confused by his condition and became easily agitated, frequently thrashing around in his hospital bed. To this day he has no memory of the first few weeks of the accident and was advised that he was suffering from post-traumatic amnesia which lasted for nine weeks and indicated to medical staff the severity of his brain injury.

While he had begun to recover from post-traumatic amnesia, other symptoms relating to his brain injury started to become more obvious. His memory span was very affected by the accident and lasted for only a few short moments, causing him to forget things almost instantly. As well as the symptoms he had little or no appetite in the very early stages of his brain injury and lost three stone in weight.

A Partner at Hugh James was instructed soon after the accident and took immediate steps to arrange for him to be transferred from an NHS hospital to a leading private hospital in London specialising in neuro rehabilitation. The very substantial funding, for the neuro rehabilitation was obtained under the terms of the Rehabilitation Code following an Immediate Needs Assessment.

A case manager was also appointed. The case manager was responsible for managing the client’s rehabilitation which included both neuro and physical therapy. His care team also provided a significant amount of help for his family. They were responsible for putting in place useful strategies and providing the emotional and practical support that he required.

A multi million pound settlement was reached three years after initial instruction.

Case Study 2

Client CD (“CD”) was a cyclist who was severely injured with a collision with another vehicle, sadly sustaining a severe brain injury. CD was flown from the accident scene to UHW by Welsh Air Ambulance. A family member initially contacted Hugh James as they had consulted the website of Headway the brain injury charity. A Partner from Hugh James met with the family and explained the process of pursuing a claim to them and how the firm had been successful in similar cases.

Once instructed, immediate contact was made with the defendant's insurers and an agreement was reached with them, even though liability was still in dispute in the claim, that they should privately fund additional rehabilitation and agreed to the appointment and funding of a case manager.

In addition, at an early stage we were able to assist the family with various non claim related tasks which they had no experience of dealing with, to allow them additional time to spend with the claimant. These included contacting the client’s employer to explain the extent of the injury and clarifying the terms of her sick pay rights and seeking an extension of these. In addition, contacting the claimant’s mortgage provider to arrange a mortgage payment holiday for an initial period of six months.

Case Study 3

Client AB (“AB”) was initially injured in 2015. He initially instructed a local firm of solicitors close to his home before instructing Hugh James in September 2017. This was six months before primary limitation, the date by which court proceedings were required to be issued.

AB had sustained the most catastrophic type of injury when as a pedestrian; a car had mounted the pavement and collided with him causing the claimant to sustain severe life changing injuries.

The claimant sustained a severe spinal injury leaving him with C4 tetraplegic paralysis below his neck, together with bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction. He had also sustained a severe brain injury which meant that he lacked capacity to litigate, manage his finances and day-to-day affairs.

He is completely dependent on others for all activities of daily living. This condition is unlikely to change. In addition, due to his brain injuries the claimant was initially very challenging in terms of his overall presentation. AB had previously been a heavy user of illicit drugs and alcohol and had proved to be a very challenging patient while in NHS hospitals and also to his previous solicitors.

As a consequence little progress had been made in obtaining relevant medical evidence and interim payments when Hugh James were instructed. Another complicated factor in this claim was that the claimant did not have a member of his family or close friend who could act as his litigation friend and as a consequence, a request had to be made to the Official Solicitor to be instructed to act as litigation friend.

When Hugh James took over conduct of this claim, all key medical legal experts were initially instructed to provide medical reports in order that the claim could be issued at the High Court. As experienced solicitors in dealing with severely brain injured and spinal cord injured patients, Hugh James were able to expedite these examinations. In addition we were able to establish a rapport with the claimant and build a level of trust to allow us to proceed with the relevant related medical legal examinations, which had proved problematic with the previous solicitor.

Sadly, the defendants insurers refused to make any substantial interim payments voluntarily in this claim despite liability being admitted and as a consequence the claimant had no access in the first two and a half years post-accident, to any private rehabilitation benefits or interim payments. It was not until the claim had been issued in the High Court that Hugh James (6 months after Hugh James took over) were able to pursue a successful interim payment application for £500,000 to allow the claimant to obtain the following:

  • A period of private rehabilitation in a unit specialising in acting for spinal cord injured and brain injured patients for a period of five months costing in excess of £140,000.
  • Appointment of a case manager and a team of therapists.
  • A large number of adaptions and improvements to his accommodation to make it more suitable for his needs.
  • Upon discharge from rehabilitation, the establishment of a privately funded care regime which was far more appropriate and suitable for his needs than the previous local authority funded care package.
  • The purchase of a vehicle to allow his carers to take the claimant on day trips for example, visiting the shops in Cardiff and attending Six Nations matches for the first time in several years.
  • Restabilising a social life and being reintegrated with his local community.

The claim is listed for trial later this year and it is anticipated the claim will settle before then through negotiations with the defendant's representatives. This will be a settlement well in excess of fifteen million pounds and will allow the claimant to continue to rebuild his life.

Therefore from initial instruction to the final settlement, this claim took less than three years to settle. As this is a claim of the most complex nature and highest value this is an excellent achievement which illustrates the experience and commitment of the Hugh James Partners and Solicitors working on this claim.

Hugh James continues to manage the client’s affairs as the Official Solicitor has agreed to them acting as the Court of Protection Deputy.