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Xavier Stonehewer – Cycle Claim Case Study

21 Oct 2015, 2:44 PM

Xavier was a 29 year old trainee doctor who was training at a hospital and studying at University in Nottingham. He used his bicycle as transport to travel between the hospital and university.

Prior to his accident, Xavier had also appeared in a number of Hollywood films as a body double for Matt Damon.

On the evening of his accident Xavier was cycling his bicycle on a main road in Nottingham travelling towards the city centre.  He was – and remains – uncertain as to the precise circumstances of his accident, but following the subsequent police investigation it appears that the defendant driver had pulled his car out of a car park into Xavier’s path knocking him from his bicycle with force. Xavier was knocked unconscious by the accident and remained unconscious for a period of approximately 15 minutes. He suffered a number of severe injuries.

The emergency services attended the accident scene and Xavier was taken by ambulance to hospital. At the accident scene the police investigated and, although they found the lights which had been fitted to Xavier’s bicycle, no trace of a cycling helmet was found. Xavier would normally have worn his helmet however, due to problems with his memory caused by this accident, he was unable to positively recall whether or not he was actually wearing one on that day.

As well as the head injuries, which included a small bleed on his brain and problems affecting his memory, Xavier’s right ear was also partially severed and had to be surgically reattached. He also suffered multiple lacerations to his face and head, various soft tissue injuries and lacerations, and went on to develop a significant degree of tinnitus in his left ear. The tinnitus in particular caused later problems for Xavier since as a trainee doctor this interfered with his ability to properly use a stethoscope.

Despite the severity of his injuries, Xavier went on to make a remarkable recovery from the majority of his injuries. Ultimately though he was left with a degree of facial scarring and, unfortunately, permanent tinnitus and conductive hearing loss.  Fortunately Xavier was able to continue in his training and qualified as planned.

The driver responsible was identified following police enquiries and was subsequently prosecuted by the police. The insurance company for the driver responsible agreed to compensate Xavier and, despite initial concerns, raised no issue that he may not have been wearing a cycling helmet. This was likely due to the remarkable recovery made and the fact that many of Xavier’s injuries were such that wearing a helmet would not have prevented the injuries.

After obtaining extensive medical evidence and reviewing matters with specialist Counsel, negotiations with the defendant driver’s insurance company saw Xavier’s claim settled in the global sum of £25,000.00.

Xavier commented, “Prior to this accident I had never been involved in a legal claim or had any involvement with a solicitors firm. I decided it would be in my best interest to thoroughly research firms and solicitors that were specialised in the field of litigation I needed. I settled on Macks Solicitors because they appeared to have a good standing and were well-versed in handling cycling accident claims. Numerous searches I performed listed Macks as a good option. They appeared professional, also to have had numerous successes, as well as being well-established in their field.  I was not at all disappointed.

“From the outset James (Pritchard) was extremely professional. I would even go so far as to say that he was outstanding in most areas. My claim was handled extremely well from the outset. James was incredibly thorough, and there was not a time when I felt that he didn’t have an excellent working knowledge of the details and status of my claim from beginning to end. He maintained a very well balanced approach to delivering facts and opinions on the legal aspects and likely outcomes at each stage, without being over-confident. I found this very reassuring. Ultimately I was extremely impressed with his legal acumen, and his approach and methodology were exacting. He delivered a result that was, in fact, far over and above what I was initially expecting. Further to this his communication by phone appointment and email/postal letter was excellent.

“I offer my sincerest thanks to James, and would highly recommend him, and indeed Macks, as a firm. I wish James the best of luck in his career. He was a pleasure to work with.”

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