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£525,000 recovered for man with ‘impossible’ personal injury claim

Tony Makin was badly injured on a coach trip in 2005, leaving him partially disabled and changing his life forever.

When an experienced barrister advised him to give up his injury claim as he believed Tony had no chance of winning, he didn’t give up.

Never afraid of a challenge, Express Solicitors partner Daniel Slade took the case and helped Tony prove many people wrong by winning him £525,000 in compensation.

A trip to the races leaves a man in a wheelchair

In 2005, Tony Makin was travelling to Doncaster Races by coach, sitting in the middle seat of the back row. When the vehicle hit a large pothole, Tony was thrown out of his seat down the aisle, hitting his head on the roof of the coach on the way.

Because the coach wasn’t equipped with seatbelts, there was nothing stopping Tony from hurtling down the coach and sustaining life altering injuries. Tony recalls his horrific experience:

“When I finally came around I tried to get up but I couldn’t. I realised then that something was seriously wrong and an ambulance was called.”

Tony was taken to hospital where an X-ray revealed that he had fractured his vertebrae. He was put in a back brace and had to stay in hospital for two weeks before being discharged to his parent’s home.

“I couldn’t go back to my own home because I couldn’t get around. Luckily my parents have a bungalow so I was able to go there. I ended up in a wheelchair, in my back brace, for almost a year and during that time I found out I had a degenerative and painful condition called spinal spondylosis.”

An ‘unwinnable’ case

Despite the great suffering that Tony went through, he went through years of legal turmoil in order for his case to even be taken seriously.

“I contacted a solicitor through my union at work and the case went on for about two and a half years, with the local authority being sued for the road defect and the coach company for negligent driving. Eventually, the case files were sent to a senior barrister, who told me I might as well give up as I had no chance of winning my case.”

While we don’t usually recommend going against the advice of a barrister, in this case doing so was a wise move by Tony. He came to Express Solicitors with his case who saw the validity in Tony’s claims and wanted justice for him and his injuries.

Tony spoke in glowing terms of his experience with the team:

“For the first time, somebody began to understand the extent of my injuries and the chronic pain I was in. I’ve been classed as disabled as I’m unable to work and will need help for the rest of my life.

“The firm was magnificent, it changed my life.”

Daniel Slade pursued claims against both the local authority for the pothole and the coach company for failing to provide seatbelts. He also instructed a pain consultant for Tony. This meant that he was offered a regular residential programme to treat the pain.

A not so impossible victory

The coach company eventually admitted liability for negligent driving. Daniel Slade and the team didn’t stop there though. After all Tony had been through, with his injuries and legal battle, they wanted him to get the road accident compensation package he deserved.

Tony was originally offered £75,000, which he was advised to reject. The reassessed offer of £200,000, while tempting, was also not enough for the team to settle on. Eventually, Daniel succeeded in getting the coach company to agree to £770,000 in damages, from which Tony received an incredible £525,000. Tony was overjoyed that he is financially secure in his new life:

“It’s meant the world to me in the sense that I’ve finally been able to prove this wasn’t my fault. It has also left me financially secure.

“I know I will be okay for money and that’s all down to the fantastic and diligent team at Express Solicitors, who won my case for me when others had said it was impossible.”

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