Following a car crash that left her with 42 per cent burns, Lindsay Preston is backing a new Law Society campaign to raise the profile of solicitors’ work.
Lindsay, 23, from Cornwall, was on a driving lesson when her car was struck by another vehicle before bursting into flames. Her burns were so severe, doctors were forced to place her in an induced coma for six weeks, and had to amputate five fingers and her right ear.
Her claim for compensation was turned down by several claims management companies as being “too difficult”, yet after approaching a solicitor she secured a loss of earnings settlement of £500,000.
After waking from the coma Lindsay thought she would be out of hospital quickly and able to return to work as a beauty therapist. But her injuries were so severe she had to abandon her fledgling career and spend three months in hospital recovering.
It was during her stay when she saw advertisements from claims management firms suggesting she might be entitled to loss of earnings because of her injuries.
Her father, who was forced to quit his job to aid Lindsay’s recovery, approached the firms but was turned away.
Following a family recommendation he contacted Manchester law firm Express Solicitors.
They agreed to take on the case, and in November 2013 Lindsay finally received a settlement of £500,000. The money is allowing her and husband Robert to gradually return to normal, giving them a vital cushion to allow them to get on with their lives.
“For three-and-a-half years we were holding our breath,” Lindsay said. “We struggled to make ends meet and to scrape the pennies together each month. If it hadn’t been for the success of this case I think we would still be trying to cope.
“For most of my relationship with Robert I have been recovering from this accident, so this money means we can finally get back the time together we have lost and be like a proper couple.”
Richard Lowery, partner and solicitor at Express Solicitors, handled Lindsay’s case.
“On examining cases we always make an assessment before taking them on. It was clear Lindsay’s was a case worth fighting for,” said Richard.
“Using expert evidence from an engineer at TRL and a driving instructor, I was able to prove the accident could have been prevented.”
Lindsay is still recovering, but the visits to hospital have become less frequent, she is working hard to get back on her feet and is re-training as a childcare assistant.
“This settlement is allowing us to gradually return to a normal life,” she said.
“My advice to anyone who is seeking to resolve a difficult situation is to speak to a solicitor.”
Richard added there were many benefits to Law Society membership.
“The society helps to promote and protect our interests as solicitors, and assists in lobbying Government and regulatory bodies to support the interests of its members,” he said.
“It offers excellent training at national and local level, and can provide guidance and advice for solicitors of all levels of expertise.”
The Law Society’s Use a Professional campaign launches on September 1, and will encourage members of the public to speak to a solicitor to resolve any disputes they have, while also raising the profile of the work solicitors do,and promoting the Find a Solicitor website.
The Find a Solicitor website allows people to search a database of nearly 140,000 legal professionals across England and Wales. The service is available here: www.lawsociety.org.uk/findasolicitor
To find out more about the campaign and the Law Society, visit: www.useaprofessional.co.uk