Background

On 31/08/11 C was boarding a bus operated by D. She was waiting at the bus stop and hailed the bus as it approached. The driver of the bus pulled the vehicle to a stop and the front doors opened.  As C went to step on to the bus the driver operated the button to close the doors, which started to close on her.  She fell backwards out of the bus and on to the pavement.

C was not able to get up and an ambulance was called.  C was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a fracture to the right hip, and bruising to her arm and torso. 

C underwent a hip repair procedure to pin and plate the fracture. She spent 2 weeks in hospital and a further 3 weeks in a rehabilitation unit before being discharged home.

Medical Evidence

Prior to the accident C was fully independent, living alone in her house, carrying out all of her own shopping and cleaning and she had an active social life.

The opinion of a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon was sought, and it was confirmed that C had suffered a fracture to the right leg requiring surgery. 

After her discharge from hospital C had physiotherapy treatment for a further 5 months. As a result of the accident C has been left with a shortening of the right leg by 2cm and a 14cm lateral scar on her right hip. She has restricted movement in her right leg and her walking distance is limited.  She is now reliant on the use of a walking stick as her mobility is affected. 

C has also required extensive assistance with household tasks such as shopping, cleaning and gardening. She is less independent following the accident as a result of her mobility being affected.  The accident resulted in her suffering physical and emotional stress leaving her with diminished confidence.  For several months following the accident she was unable to leave the house without family to assist her and she was unable to use public transport.

The medical evidence confirmed that her need for assistance had been brought forward by a period of 3 to 5 years as a result of the accident.  

Legal Proceedings

C sought damages for personal injuries and losses suffered as a result of D's negligence. A Letter of Claim was sent to D on 28/11/11 setting out C's claim. D responded on 02/12/11 admitting liability subject to causation.

On 26/06/12 C put forward a Part 36 Offer in the sum of £45,000 plus costs, D responded with a counter offer of £42,000 plus costs on 16/08/12. This offer was accepted by C on 21/08/12.

Settlement

The claim was settled on a global basis however, a rough breakdown of the settlement figure is as follows:

General damages: £23,500

Special damages: £18,500 - the largest heads of claim being future care and future travel costs

D also agreed to pay C's costs of the case, which had been run under a Conditional Fee Agreement, and was subject to a fixed success fee.

 

For the Claimant:  Solicitor:  Sarah Towler, Russell-Cooke

For the Defendant:  Acromas Insurance Company Ltd