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Express solicitors secures ten times more compensation for life changing injuries

Client stories

Experienced personal injury claims solicitor, Robin Patey, partner at Express Solicitors used his vast experience to assist in helping police officer, Matt McDaid, 49, from Lancaster secure £1.75million compensation settlement, despite initially being told to settle for £100,000 by another personal injury firm.

Matt’s injuries from the road traffic accident caused him to develop complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and five years post-accident, Matt had to have his whole left hand removed to restore his quality of life. This subsequently forced him into early retirement and effectively turned his life upside down as his career was pulled from underneath him.

Express solicitors support

Robin Patey, acting on behalf of Mr McDaid, from Express Solicitors, added: “Matt had been advised by his previous solicitors that he was unlikely to beat an offer of £100,000 that the car driver’s insurance company had made just before Christmas one year in an effort to tempt Matt to settle. It was brave and very trusting of Matt to reject that offer and carry on with his case through the Court process.

“The personal relationship with clients is such a key to success in this type of hard-fought litigation.”

“Litigation can be extremely stressful for clients and that is made all the worse by devastating injuries such as those Matt suffered. I put together a great team of medical experts, expert witnesses, junior and senior barristers and my own support team at Express were invaluable. I was able to go and see Matt at home whenever he needed reassurance and advice – the personal relationship with clients is such a key to success in this type of hard-fought litigation.”

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Matt added: “Robin and his team were supportive throughout and allayed my fears a lot. I felt in a really vulnerable position as one minute I was fully employed and enjoying life and the next thing I was suffering from not only pain but also psychological issues. I very nearly accepted a lower offer at one point but Robin and the barrister convinced me to carry on.

“I would recommend (and indeed have twice recommended Express Solicitors) to my family and friends.

“I would recommend (and indeed have twice recommended Express Solicitors) to my family and friends. CRPS is such a misunderstood condition that people are very doubtful that it is real and it was essential that my legal team understood the issues that I had to deal with. They gave me sound advice, support and did not let me under-settle my claim.”

Matt’s claim was settled before trial for £1,750,000 and crucially this was on a provisional damages’ basis so that if his CRPS returns or spreads to another area of his body then he would be able to return to Court to ask for more damages.

An uneventful day at work ended career

On what was seemingly otherwise a ‘normal’ working day for police officer Matt McDaid, 49, from Lancashire, life was quickly turned upside down forcing him into early retirement after suffering life changing injuries in a road traffic accident.

With his career in jeopardy at the time, Matt brought a compensation claim against the driver at fault. Initially handled by another personal injury law firm, Matt was advised to settle for an offer of £100,000. Acutely aware that his career was about to be pulled from underneath him, Matt held firm.

Matt defected to the specialist Express Solicitors team who secured a seven-figure sum for the injuries sustained, bringing Matt some financial peace of mind.

Whilst stationary waiting to turn right, Matt who was on duty at the time but in an unmarked car, was hit from behind at 40mph by a small removal van. His left hand was badly damaged from the impact, and eventually needed to be amputated, resulting in him being permanently disabled from performing policing duties and retired on medical grounds.

Matt recalls the moments before the impact: “I was sitting stationary waiting to turn right and was hit from behind from a small removal van who was travelling at around 40mph. The driver simply didn’t see me and they told me that as I managed to free myself from the vehicle.

“As a result of the impact my left hand had been pinned inside the steering wheel and was folded back on itself.

“I managed to extricate it. I also had a sore neck. I tried to shake it off. I was walking wounded but needed to stay with the vehicle while it was recovered.

“The next day I was still in a lot of pain so I first went to my GP who then sent me straight to the local hospital. On arrival they x-rayed my wrist and did a CT scan. They said that I had fractured my scaphoid and identified a lymphoid and sent me for an urgent cancer investigation. After hearing this news, my life just turned upside down and I began to panic.

“It took eight months of investigation to rule out the suspected cancer and during this time it certainly felt that they were more concerned about finding cancer than treating the injuries from the accident.

The actual injuries to my hand went undiagnosed for 18 months in total.

Despite being in severe pain I was initially told that I had broken my wrist, only to be then told there was nothing wrong. Three months later another consultant potentially identified complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and wanted to refer me to a hand specialist but that was also ignored.

“I was in constant pain and as a result developed severe anxiety because the doctors told me that the pain was in my head but I was feeling very real pain right up my left arm. I got to the point where I was convincing myself I was having a heart attack.

“After pushing for a second opinion and an arthroscopy I was then told that as a result of the accident I had ruptured the scaphoid ligament in my left hand and therefore my hand was goosed. Although nothing was done to my hand at this time the procedure cured my anxiety as I knew I wasn’t going mad! I tried to carry on with life but the pain was relentless.

“A few months later I then opted for a four corner fusion and the operation went well but the recovery was not good. I was basically left with about 5-10% movement and from that moment onwards I knew my career was over.

My recovery was also much slower than it should have been as the physio then identified complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

I personally think that it should have been identified some two years earlier.”

Impact on daily life

Nearly two years after the accident, Matt continued working in the same role but was restricted. “I continued working as much as I could. However, given my specialist role within the force, which demanded a lot physically from me, the injuries to my wrist and constant pain meant I could no longer do certain aspects of the role. I was removed from active work and put on light duties but eventually retired on medical grounds in January 2016.”

Life after the accident

Dealing with and managing daily pain which impacted his sleep, saw Matt elect to pursue a complete amputation of his left hand.

Five years post-accident in February 2017, Matt had his whole left hand removed to restore his quality of life.

Despite suffering respiratory arrest following surgery, which meant all pain medication had to be removed, just 14 hours after the operation Matt was pain free. “The day to day pain that I had been feeling for years was completely gone. All I experience now is the odd bit of phantom limb syndrome and sometimes phantom pain, especially in cold and damp weather, but it’s all superficial.”

“I’ve currently got an NHS supplied prosthetic limb but I’d really like to explore getting a bionic one but because of the pandemic I’ve not yet had the opportunity to get one measured. I’ve made some sympathetic changes around the house, mainly to the kitchen and bathroom to make it easier for me to manage on my own.”

Matt is now taking full retirement in his stride and enjoys regularly walks with his dog and meeting up with friends.

“I did have bigger ambitions to do certain events but the pandemic got in the way of those. For now, I just take each day as it comes.”

“Being in a car accident I didn’t particularly like driving but receiving the award had enabled me to upgrade my car to get one with a little better technology that can assist me and makes driving so much easier for me and dare I say enjoyable again.”

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