Former US Airforce employee receives US $750,000 compensation for injury obtained on Suffolk road
Mr F was employed by the US Airforce and stationed at RAF Lakenheath in 2006 when he was involved in a road accident which completely changed the course of his life. As a result of the injuries he incurred, his career in the airforce was cut short and he was returned to his native Puerto Rico where he had to look for employment in the private sector. Ruth Booy, who heads the personal injury team at Ashtons Legal, has now succeeded in obtaining a US $750,000 settlement for 28 year old Mr F; this will enable him to move to the US, undergo further surgery and seek better alternative employment.
The incident in which he was involved occurred on the C624, Higham Road in April 2006. He was driving his Jeep in the direction of Tuddenham when he was hit by another vehicle. He suffered injuries to his elbow, abdomen, pelvis and right leg which treated first at West Suffolk Hospital and then at RAF Lakenheath Medical Centre. While his other injuries healed, his leg became a permanent problem. Ruth Booy explains:
“Mr F underwent surgery in relation to his fractured leg, with an inter-medullary rod being inserted to try to help him regain mobility as quickly as possible. At the time of his accident, he was a Staff Sergeant working in avionics on the flightline. He was unable to return to work for almost a month, and when he did so was limited to a desk job. In spite of intensive physiotherapy, his leg continued to cause him substantial pain, and this extends up to his hip and groin. At times his knee feels sufficiently unstable that he walks with a stick. He never regained full mobility and was medically discharged from the US Air Force in November 2007.
In spite of undertaking a range of training courses and applying for numerous jobs since returning to Puerto Rico, Mr F remains unemployed. His income has been limited to some ad hoc work as a gardener. While a small proportion of the claim related to the injury itself, and a further portion to his medical treatment, the bulk of his settlement is in respect of lost earnings, the loss of his Airforce pension and other benefits associated with being in the US military. At the time of his accident, his Airforce career seemed assured and, like many military personnel, he looked forward to a second civilian career – as an Avionics Technician – once he had done his stint in the Airforce. Now he faces uncertainty in the labour market.
As a result of his injuries he has also given up many of the sporting pursuits that he enjoyed before the accident, and he has difficulty playing physical games with his young children.
It is hoped that further treatment being recommended by his orthopaedic surgeon will soon be carried out in the US, brightening his future prospects”.
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