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Legal 500 (2013)

€800,000 awarded to pedestrian for brain injury following collision with motor scooter in Rome

Irwin Mitchell have successfully concluded the claim of Mrs Hanger for the serious injuries she suffered after being knocked down by a scooter in Rome in October 2000. 

Scooter and mopeds are the most popular form of transport for commuters in Rome, with around 443,000 circulating the streets of the Italian capital. Statistics show that Rome has more than 4,000 accidents involving scooters annually and unfortunately, whilst holidaying in Rome with her husband, Mrs Hanger became one of these statistics.

Mrs Hanger was crossing a road with her husband when she was struck by a scooter.  She consequently suffered a severe brain injury and has no recollection of the accident.  Mrs Hanger was hospitalised in Rome, and, once stabilised, was flown back to the UK by air ambulance.  Mrs Hanger was discharged from hospital in the UK in June 2001, but still required intensive therapy and rehabilitation as an outpatient, and at home. 

The accident has had a profound effect on the lives of all those close to Mrs Hanger, and in particular her husband who has had to give up work to provide round the clock care and assistance. Mrs Hanger has been in a wheelchair since the accident and continues to suffer problems with her speech, double-vision, personality change and paralysis down her right side. Mrs Hanger also laughs uncontrollably and inappropriately as a result of the accident. Mrs Hanger and her husband have now moved into a specially adapted bungalow to help Mrs Hanger cope with her disability. 

Mr and Mrs Hanger are both grateful to the NHS Rehabilitation Services, the Norfolk Social Services and the social and craft activities at the Norwich Headway Group for the extensive support they provided to assist in Mrs Hanger’s rehabilitation.

The legal system in Rome proved to be slow and liability was denied. Irwin Mitchell gathered medical evidence to support and value Mrs Hanger’s claim, however the Italian insurers refused to enter settlement negotiations. Irwin Mitchell determined to secure a positive outcome, therefore prepared to issue proceedings, after which the insurers finally accepted responsibility and agreed to compensate Mrs Hanger.  After negotiations, Mrs Hanger was awarded a compensation package that was worth in excess of €800,000.

Despite having sustained such serious injuries, Mrs Hanger has continued to pursue her studies and has recently graduated from the Open University.  Mrs Hanger will continue to require care and assistance, and Irwin Mitchell had great pleasure in helping to secure the compensation that Mrs Hanger deserved.

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident abroad, contact our expert team for specialist advice.

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