By Colin Richmond
It has now been around nine months since I last posted a quantum update. These updates seem to be quite popular, based on the feedback I have received at seminars and over the telephone, so another now seems appropriate.
Neck, Shoulder, Chest – Five Months
Donnelly v QBE Insurance Limited (2016) – Lawtel AM0203003
The claimant (C), a 35 year old woman, was injured in a road traffic accident in July 2015.
C suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and right shoulder.
C attended at her local A & E department once. She also attended her own GP once and took simple analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication for a week. C also undertook a course of physiotherapy for four to five sessions. At their worst, symptoms were described as being of a moderate severity and were at their most acute for two months before improving. By the time of the medico-legal examination, at four months post-injury, symptoms were said to be mild to moderate and intermittent in nature.
C also suffered a more minor seatbelt type injury to her chest which resolved after one week.
C’s ability to attend to her own personal care, or that of her children, was restricted for three weeks and her ability to carry her shopping was restricted for a month. C’s sleep was disturbed, on account of her pain, for six weeks, and her social life and her capacity to undertake her chores were restricted for the same period. She remained absent from the gym for three months. C also missed a significant social event.
Prognosis: The expert ultimately expected the neck and shoulder injuries to abate by five months post-injury.
Updated Award – £2,535
Neck, Back – Six Months
Greatorex v Hastings Direct (2016) – Lawtel AM0203017
The claimant (C), a 45 year old man, was injured in a road traffic accident in July 2015.
C suffered injuries to his neck and thoracolumbar spine.
C developed travel anxiety. His lower back injury caused him to experience severe symptoms of pain and stiffness including associated paraesthesia in the right leg. He was seen by his GP on one occasion and took analgesia. His symptoms were aggravated by periods of prolonged sitting and standing and by activities that involved bending and lifting. He required assistance caring for his son and his sleep was disturbed. He was not absent from his work as a painter but at the medico-legal examination, two months after the accident, he continued to be working lighter duties because he was unable to climb ladders or carry out overhead painting. At that date he was also unable to continue with his hobby of playing golf.
Prognosis: The back injury was expected to resolve by six months after the accident. The anxiety abated approximately one week after the accident whilst the neck pain abated after approximately two weeks.
Updated Award – £2,791
Neck, Back, Bump to Head – Six Months
Parker v Direct Line Ltd (2016)
The claimant (C), a 46 year old woman, was inured in a road traffic accident in February 2015.
C sustained injuries to her neck and lower back, together with a bump to the head.
C suffered soft tissue injuries to the neck and lower back, together with bruising to the head and headaches. C’s head symptoms resolved after three days. Her spinal symptoms persisted at the time of the medico-legal examination at two months post-injury; having, at all times, remained at a moderate severity and with associated right radicular symptoms from the neck injury. C attended A&E on one occasion, and her GP on four occasions. She also received a course of chiropractic treatment, with sports massage.
C reported to the expert that she was absent from her work, with the police, for a period but that that was only partly related to the index accident, and that further, she remained restricted in terms of her household chores.
The prognosis for recovery was six months from the date of the accident.
Updated Award – £2,700
Neck, Shoulders, Back – Seven Months
Hanby v Rowe (2016) – Lawtel AM0203044
The claimant (C), a 48 year old woman, was injured in a road traffic accident in July 2015.
C sustained injuries to her neck, shoulders and lower back.
C experienced pain in her neck, shoulders and lower back. She also suffered severe headaches and, when travelling as a passenger in or driving a vehicle, experienced moderate travel anxiety. Her ability to carry out housework was severely restricted and her sleep was affected.
After the accident, C attended an accident and emergency department and on two occasions she was seen by her GP in relation to her injuries. She used painkillers. C was advised to undergo six sessions of physiotherapy.
At the date of the medical examination, at approximately three-and-a-half months after the accident, C’s symptoms had improved but there remained tenderness and her forward flexion, lateral flexion, extension and rotation movements were restricted.
Prognosis: C was expected to make a full recovery within six-and-a-half months from the date of the accident.
Updated Award – £2,778
Neck – Eight Months
O’Brien v Balmer (2016) Lawtel AM0203002
The claimant (C), a 33 year old woman, was injured in a road traffic accident in May 2015.
C suffered a whiplash injury to her neck.
C attended her GP, following the accident, having suffered dizziness as well as the injury to her neck. She was advised to rest and to take analgesia.
C also underwent a course of nine sessions of physiotherapy, which ended at four-and-a-half months post-injury. A medico-legal examination, at approximately five and-a-half-months post-injury, revealed a full range of movement, but with some discomfort. C reported that her neck symptoms had initially been severe but were mild to moderate by the date of the examination. The dizziness resolved after six days and the expert was of the view that it was a consequence of the whiplash injury.
C was absent from her work as a manager for a day, but was only mildly restricted upon her return. Her abilities to care for her two children, to lift and to sleep were all also restricted to a degree.
C had a three-year history of prior back pain, but it was not materially affected by the accident.
Prognosis: The expert was of the view that the remaining neck symptoms would resolve within two months of the examination, which would be seven-and-a-half months after the accident.
Updated Award – £2,737
Neck – Eight Months
Lowe v RSA Insurance Group PLC – Lawtel AM0203026
The claimant (C), a 49 year old woman, was injured in a road traffic accident in June 2015.
C sustained severe soft tissue injuries to her cervical spine.
C developed intense pain and discomfort. She once attended a walk-in centre and once attended an accident and emergency department. She used analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication.
At the date of the medical examination, at seven weeks after the accident, C’s symptoms had improved to a moderate level but it was noted that she continued to experience tenderness in the cervical vertebrae. There was also restriction on forward flexion, hyperextension, bilateral rotation and lateral flexion.
After the accident C was not absent from work but her tasks were restricted for one week. Her abilities to perform domestic chores and housework, personal care tasks and socialising, shopping and sexual intercourse were also restricted.
Prognosis: C was expected to fully recover from her injury within eight months from the date of the accident.
Updated Award – £2,520
Neck – Nine Months
Pau v Sabre Insurance Company (2016) – Lawtel AM0203032
The claimant (C), a 40 year old woman, was injured in a road traffic accident in May 2015.
C suffered a soft tissue injury to her neck.
C developed symptoms in her neck, causing cervical and suprascapular pain, described as severe in intensity. She also experienced associated headaches. C attended upon her General Practitioner on one occasion and medicated with anti-inflammatory medication. She also attended the Accident and Emergency Department and underwent a CT scan and MRI scan. The headaches resolved after four weeks. C was absent from work for two days. Childcare, housework, gardening and aerobics were all restricted. Physiotherapy was recommended.
Prognosis: A full recovery was anticipated within eight-and-a-half months of the accident.
Updated Award – £2,424
Neck and Back – Nine Months
Ali v Ageas (2016) – Lawtel AM0202980
The claimant (C), a 29 year old man, was injured in a road traffic accident in September 2015.
C suffered whiplash injuries to his neck and back.
C was absent from work for two days on account of his injuries and was initially unable to play football. C’s whiplash injuries resolved after nine months. He also suffered travel anxiety which resolved after six months.
Updated Award – £2,772
Neck, Shoulders, Back, Psychological – 12 Months
Chunara v Mumtaz (2016) – Lawtel AM0202996
The Claimant (C), a 34 year old man, was injured in a road traffic accident in May 2015.
C suffered injuries to his neck, shoulder, upper and lower back, together with some parasthesia to the feet. He also suffered with symptoms of travel anxiety including complaints of flashbacks and nightmares.
C’s sleep, household activities, DIY shopping and childcare and personal life were all adversely affected, in some respects severely affected. He had to miss a few sporting activities and one wedding function.
Upon examination at three months post-accident, C had 50-80% range of movement in the neck, 80% range of movement in the upper limbs, and full range of movement with some pain in the back. He was recommended to undertake 10 sessions of physiotherapy however there was no evidence that the treatment was commenced.
The prognosis was for a full resolution of symptoms within a period of 12 months of the date of the accident.
Updated Award – £3,024
Neck and Back – 12 Months
Moran v Glasgow (2016) – Lawtel AM0203019
The claimant (C), a 52 year old man, was injured in a road traffic accident in October 2015.
C suffered whiplash injuries to his neck and back.
C attended his general practitioner and took analgesia and anti-inflammatories. He also underwent a course of 10 sessions of physiotherapy, ending between four and five months post injury. At the time of the medico-legal examination, approximately three months post injury, C reported that his symptoms had initially been severe, but had improved to a moderate level by the date of examination. Nevertheless, restricted movement persisted on examination.
C was absent from his work as a tiler for a fortnight. At the time of examination, he continued to have difficulties lifting and standing for protracted periods. His capacity to carry, undertake chores and shopping was also restricted and his sleep was affected. Similarly, his ability to engage in fitness training or to attend the gym and play squash was restricted, though these were not prevented entirely.
Prognosis: The medical expert anticipated that a complete recovery would be attained by 11 to 13 months after the accident.
Updated Award – £3,636
Neck and Back – 12 Months
Egbufor v EUI Limited (2016) – Lawtel AM0203013
The claimant (C), a 32 year old man, was injured in a road traffic accident in July 2015.
C suffered whiplash injuries to his neck and lower back.
C attended his general practitioner and was given analgesia and told to rest. His physical symptoms were initially described as being severe, but had improved to a moderate nature by the time of the medico-legal examination, at three-and-a-half months post-injury, when the expert noted significant restrictions in movement. C also suffered travel anxiety.
C was signed off from his work, as a warehouse operative for three weeks and, upon his return, was on lighter duties for two days. He underwent a course of physiotherapy, having ten sessions. The medico-legal expert recommended that he be examined by a clinical psychologist which C opted not to undergo.
Prognosis: C’s neck symptoms were expected to resolve after eleven months and the back symptoms after twelve months, following injury.
Updated Award – £4,674
Neck and Back – 12 Months
Michael Gwilliam v Kally (2016) – Lawtel AM0202919
The claimant (C), a 63 year old man, was injured in a road traffic accident in January 2015.
C sustained injuries to his neck and lower back.
C did not seek medical attention but took painkillers regularly for six weeks and thereafter as required. He experienced shock for four days and pain to his neck and lower back which were severe at onset and moderate at examination for the medical report five months later. His movement was 90-99% of normal and appeared to cause pain and muscle spasms in the neck and lower back. He also experienced travel anxiety, especially when other vehicles appeared to be close to him.
Sleeping, personal care, social life and walking were severely restricted initially, and moderately restricted at the time of examination. C was a truck driver and found long journeys difficult.
C was recommended to have eight physiotherapy sessions but was discharged after six.
Prognosis: C recovered from his neck and lower back injuries after 12 months, his shock lasted four days and his fear of travel resolved after 12 weeks.
Updated Award – £3,678