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The Good Samaritan

Dave Tolley

Fletchers are trying to get you all the help that they can to get you to the best you can possibly be

Dave Tolley, Handcyclist & Fletchers client

One day in November 2006, David Tolley was driving to work on the motorway when there was a brief but very violent hailstorm which made the driving conditions extremely hazardous. The car overtaking him lost control, so he stopped to make sure the driver was OK. That was when he spotted a woman in another car that had crashed on the opposite side of the motorway. He crossed the carriageway, saw that she too was unhurt and helped her out of the car to safety. With her car blocking the outside lane, David decided to move her car to avoid any further accidents. While he was in the process of entering her car to do this he was struck, first by a car and then a transit van. The impact sent him catapulting along the motorway, causing some very severe injuries. David was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital near Birkenhead where it quickly became clear that his spinal cord had been badly damaged in the accident, rendering him paraplegic.

After three months recovering at Arrowe Park Hospital, David was moved to the Southport Spinal Centre to begin his rehabilitation. He spent another four months there before being allowed to go home. However, it quickly became apparent that David’s home was not suited to his new needs as a wheelchair user.

David appointed us as solicitors in his case and one of our first priorities was to secure an interim payment to help him move to accommodation that was better suited to him. We were able to do this and in May 2009 David and his wife Hilary moved to their new home in Prenton, one of the suburbs of Birkenhead.

Meanwhile our legal battles were continuing on David’s behalf. Three separate insurance companies were contesting the case, suggesting his injuries were his own fault. This level of insensitivity only galvanised us all the more – after all, David’s actions saved several people from a potentially disastrous fate. And luckily, a judge agreed with us. In May 2010, some four years after his accident, Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled in David’s favour after going through extensive accident reconstruction reports and hearing from a number of independent witnesses. On the second day of the trial, the High Court Judge dismissed the arguments from the three co-defendants, saying that he found the evidence sufficiently compelling and that David was not responsible for his injuries. If anything, he felt that David’s actions were exceptionally brave and not in any way foolhardy.

The case was fully settled in December 2012 when David received a multi million pound settlement. We were thrilled with this settlement as it means that David and Hilary have everything they need to rebuild their lives following such a devastating injury. And given the severity of his condition, it’s truly miraculous to see how David has turned his life around, now volunteering for some local spinal injury groups and learning how to hand cycle.

We’re also very proud of the fact that our representation of David won Outstanding Case of the Year at the Personal Injury Awards 2012.

If you’ve suffered a serious injury like David, then please don’t hesitate to call us now on 03300 080 321┬áto talk to someone who’ll understand what you’re going through. Or alternatively, you can fill out a form here.

Julia Eyton

Case Solicitor

As well as supervising a serious injury team, Julia handles some of the most serious and complex personal injury cases, not just in the firm, but in the UK, being one of only literally a handful of people in the country with the experience and expertise to be able to deal with such accidents. Julia is also a Legal 500 recommended lawyer, noted for being 'tactically very astute'.

Key Case Details

Severe injuries to his spinal cord at T6/7 causing him to be paraplegic.
At Chester Court, Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled in favour of David.
Multi million pound settlement
David is living in an adapted detached bungalow with his wife. He is an active member of the Patient Group Committee at Southport Spinal Unit. He was also appointed vice chairman of the Spinal Injury Association in Merseyside. David enjoys hand cycling, wheelchair basketball and fly-fishing.

Further Reading…

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  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
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  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2019
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