In August 2010, Mr L was in the South of France for a friend’s wedding. He had been out at a pre-wedding event and was offered a lift back to his hotel by a friend. During the course of the journey Mr L’s friend lost control of his vehicle at speed and left the road. The vehicle went down a steep bank and overturned. Mr L was trapped in the vehicle while it was on fire. Fortunately emergency services were able to free him before the car exploded.

Mr L suffered a right sided pneumothorax and compression fractures to his cervical spine. He was taken to a local hospital in Dragnuinan for emergency treatment and was then transferred to a larger hospital in Nice.

Mr L remained in hospital for three weeks. His spinal injury was treated conservatively in a brace and he did not require surgery. Mr L was then repatriated toEngland. He had to wear the spinal brace for 3 months, and then a cervical collar for a further 2 months. He then underwent a short course of physiotherapy before being discharged from NHS care. Mr L continued to suffer symptoms; he was also suffering from nightmares and flashbacks. He L was unable to work as a self employed builder for 6 months following the accident.

Mr L instructed me to bring a claim for compensation against his friend’s insurers. In any potential case involving an accident abroad one of the main considerations is country in which the case should be brought. If Mr L’s friend had lived inFrance, then by virtue of the Rome II Regulation (concerning the applicable law for disputes in the EU), the questions of liability and the amount of any compensation payable would have been decided according to French law. In some countries the law regarding the assessment of damages can be less favourable than in England and Wales.  Fortunately in Mr L’s case, his friend was a British national who lived in London and therefore English law applied.

After I was instructed, I immediately arranged for Mr L to be examined by a leading consultant spinal surgeon. He recommended that Mr L undergo a course of intensive physiotherapy. I obtained an interim payment from the insurers so that my client could receive this treatment privately.

I also arranged for Mr L to be examined by a consultant psychiatrist regarding his nightmares. I then obtained further funds from the insurers so that he could undergo a course of cognitive behavioural therapy on a private basis.

By 3 years from the accident, Mr L had made a good recovery from his physical and psychological injuries. He still had some minor neck pain which was expected to continue long term but it would not affect his ability to work until retirement age. It was a key feature of Mr L’s case that his access to private medical treatment enabled a much better recovery than initially expected.

Mr L received a total settlement in excess of £50,000. If you have had an accident abroad, please contact us for an initial appointment.