A WIGAN man whose life was turned upside down after sustaining a severe brain injury in a car smash has landed a multi-million pound pay-out.
After an eight-year legal battle, Paul Vallance has been awarded a £4m High Court settlement for the horrific injuries he suffered in the collision.
Aged just 18, he was driving friends home after a night out in Wiltshire in April 2006 when a driver travelling in the opposite direction lost control, ploughing into his car.
He sustained a severe traumatic injury to the frontal lobe of his brain which affects emotional control, leaving him with serious communication problems, behavioural difficulties and anger management issues.
He also sustained a fractured leg, injuries to his shoulder and feet, a broken nose, as well as cuts and bruises.
His mum Tina Collins said that the accident had destroyed Paul’s life. He was in Great Western Hospital in Swindon for 19 days where his wounds were tended to.
But despite suffering from amnesia and was unable to speak, he wasn’t given any neuro-rehabilitation treatment for the serious blow to the head he sustained.
She said: “In the immediate aftermath, Paul was suffering from amnesia, had lost the ability to speak and was in a confused and angry state.
“My loving son had been replaced by a much angrier, hostile young man. He would spend hours just staring at himself in a mirror, saying repeatedly ‘I look like Paul, but I don’t feel like Paul’. My heart was in bits seeing him like this.”
He lost his job as a trainee manager at Welcome Break and struggled to find work with his condition.
Tina then sought legal help from Novum Law, a national firm of injury lawyers specialising in brain injury cases. Despite there being no criminal proceedings against the driver, the firm believed it was only right that his insurers to fund a long-term residential rehabilitation programme at Wigan’s Transitional Rehabilitation Unit (TRU) which was almost 200 miles away from his Wiltshire home.
Since he moved to Wigan in 2012, staff have helped the 26-year-old to rebuild his life. He now lives with his mum and two younger brothers in Winstanley and nurses support him as he goes on days out.
After the accident, Huw Ponting, specialist brain injury lawyer at Novum Law, said: “The collision has had a significant impact on Paul’s life and family.
“A number of years after the accident, he continues to suffer from the effects of the severe traumatic brain injury he sustained, affecting all aspects of his life.
“For a young man to be faced with the prospect of never being able to work again or live independently without support is unimaginable. We are absolutely thrilled to have secured justice for Paul which will help finance the specialist care and support he will need for the rest of his life.
“Serious brain injuries cause huge disruption to the lives of the injured individual and their loved ones.
“Paul and his mother’s experiences highlight the importance of getting advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor from the outset who is experienced in the complex challenges of life-changing brain injury cases to ensure that victims get the much-needed compensation they are entitled to.
“It is vital individuals who suffer life-changing injuries get the recompense they are entitled to in order to access the support they need.”