In our first blog post, we discussed how we established the facts to build a claim for Mr Q and support his lifelong care needs. The following case reinforces the importance of establishing the facts in an overseas accident where there are international witnesses.
We recently settled Ms I’s claim, who sustained a spinal cord injury during a quad biking excursion in Iceland. An international fact finding investigation was required to build up an evidential picture for the court and give the court as much information as possible to make an accurate finding on the facts.
Our client was required to participate in a quad biking excursion during a marketing incentive weekend to Iceland which was organised by her employer in conjunction with a specialist tour operator. The tyres of the quad bike she was riding were in a bad condition. She was only provided minimal instruction on how to control the quad bike.
The route for the excursion included negotiating a steep incline which led to a volcanic cliff edge. Our client lost control of the quad bike at this point, falling off the side of the incline to the quarry below. She had not been told about the emergency kill switch or instructed on what she should do if she found herself in an emergency situation.
As a result of the accident, our client suffered life changing injuries which left her with T6 paraplegia. She now requires a daily regime of paid care and assistance, as well as regular medical treatment and monitoring. Her home also needed to be adapted to better accommodate her day to day needs.
Stewarts Law issued court proceedings early on following a denial of liability and were able to speak with a number of witnesses from across Europe to form a clear picture of the arrangements for the quad biking excursion and what happened in the moments leading up to the accident. In addition, we instructed respected tyre and quad biking safety experts to establish what went wrong and what should have been done to ensure our client's safety during the tour.
Following service of the court proceedings, we were invited to an early settlement meeting during which we successfully negotiated a lump sum settlement of £2.9 million for our client.
This was a complex case which required extensive evidence gathering from Iceland and across Europe. We were able to call upon our established network of contacts internationally to trace and speak with witnesses in Iceland, Denmark, France and Italy. By acting quickly to preserve the evidence we ensured that our client was in a strong position to pursue her claim to a successful conclusion.
Our client was delighted with the result. Whilst we were ready to fight the case to trial, the early resolution of the claim has removed that stress and anxiety for her. The settlement means that she now has the financial security to obtain the lifelong care, equipment and treatment she needs as a result of her injuries.Read more about our work with SIA here.
More information about Julian Chamberlayne, Partner in our Travel Department at Stewarts Law who specialises in overseas personal injury litigation and led Ms I’s case can be found here.