Road Traffic Collision Leads to Amputation and Change of Career for Determined Former Chef.

At the age of 30, Stephen Penning suffered multiple fractures to his arm which changed the course of his life forever.

Over the course of a long battle with the defendant insurers which related to the injuries and loss that could be connected back to the car crash, as Stephen’s lawyer I saw him move through a myriad of emotions from anger through to depression and then on to show his true determination. Whilst Stephen battled for many years to save his arm, ultimately an above elbow amputation was required.

The psychological trauma of dealing with numerous operations, hospital admissions and an elective amputation took its toll on Stephen.

He had lost the job that he loved, his independence and was frustrated at having to rely on his parents and family to the extent that he took comfort in food which along with the drugs that he was on for his intractable and extreme pain saw his weight increase significantly giving him mobility and other problems that it was argued would not have happened but for the car crash.

Payments on account were obtained throughout the conduct of the case to give Stephen the ability to purchase a mobility car, buy things for his parents home that would allow him to have some dignity and independence in his personal hygiene regime and allowed him to complete a university degree and obtain a placement as an environmental health officer. All of these things were thought to be beyond him due to his accident related injuries.

Evidence was obtained from a weight management expert who identified that certain drugs used to help with phantom limb pain and with pain control generally, are known to cause weight gain.

This together with the psychologist’s evidence and a report from a pain consultant assisted in confirming that Stephen’s problems were more than likely to be accident-related as opposed to something that would have happened in any event. This changed the course of the litigation with Stephen receiving compensation of more than 3 times what had been offered by the defendants to enable him to have care and support in rented accommodation that he would need whilst relocating for his placement and to allow for the purchase of a bungalow as well as aids and equipment, rehabilitation, counselling and prosthetics.

“I just wanted to thank you for everything. I wouild not be where I am today if it had not been for your understanding, insight, practical support, and professionalism.” – Stephen Penning

Debra Woolfson is a Director based at our Stockport Office. Debra dealt with Stephen’s case and says “Being a lawyer is not just about applying legal principles. Working with Stephen to get him the money he needed to regain his financial independence and the physical support that has allowed him to get back into work as well as to give him the chance to look forward to living independently again has been a real pleasure.

Attending Stephen’s graduation at Salford University where he gained the prize for succeeding against adversity is something I won’t forget. Stephen’s determination and ability to cope with things that would have floored many healthy people has been impressive. I am glad that the long legal fight has ended so well for him.”  

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