A midwife who suffered serious injuries when a lorry hit her car has secured a substantial settlement.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) member was travelling to work in Burnley when a lorry hit her car, and two others, at speed. Her head hit the steering wheel and she lost consciousness.

“I have very little memory of what happened,” she said. “When I came around a colleague of mine, who happened to have been nearby when the lorry hit me, was looking after me. The next thing I remember after that is seeing firefighters cutting the roof of my car off above me. It was terrifying.”

Doctors at Royal Blackburn Hospital found she had suffered several injuries, including rib and breastbone fractures, cuts and damage to her teeth. The injuries caused air and blood to collect between her lungs and chest wall, leading to the onset of the serious respiratory condition subcutaneous emphysema, making breathing difficult. She also suffered from vertigo, nausea and tinnitus in the immediate weeks after the accident.

After leaving the hospital, the midwife needed a walking frame to get around the house. She had seven months off work before a phased return, but needed a further three months off after surgery. Even though the accident happened in 2014, she still suffers pain in her chest and shoulder blades, and struggles to sleep.

She turned to her union’s legal service and was put in touch with Thompsons Solicitors to make a compensation claim.

Thousands of people are seriously injured on UK roads each year. As a firm, Thompsons Solicitors actively campaigns to improve road safety and it is crucial that road traffic accident victims can access free, expert legal representation.

Philip Liptrot, Senior Supervisor of the North-West Multi-Track Accident Team

“I was not sure if I’d be able to make a claim for compensation because I wasn’t at work,” she said. “I called the RCM and they reassured me I would be covered and immediately put me in touch with Thompsons Solicitors. Within days, a solicitor visited me to discuss the claim, which was a real bonus as my injury had severely limited my mobility.

“The RCM and Thompsons were exceptional from start to finish. They made sure I didn’t have to cope with my injuries alone. The whole ordeal has made me glad to be a trade union member.”

Suzanne Tyler, Executive Director for Services to Members at the RCM, said: “Our member’s life changed because of this accident. She has made significant progress in her recovery but will never be the same again.

“We are pleased this case was successfully concluded for our member. Working with Thompsons Solicitors, we secured a significant amount of compensation, recognising the trauma she endured. As this member’s experience shows, RCM membership can offer support for some of the difficult periods in our life outside of work as well as supporting members in their working life.”

Philip Liptrot, from Thompsons Solicitors, added: “Thankfully serious injuries - like the one suffered by this midwife - are relatively rare, yet thousands of people are seriously injured on UK roads each year.

“As a firm, Thompsons Solicitors actively campaigns to improve road safety and it is crucial that road traffic accident victims can access free, expert legal representation. We were pleased to be able to help through her trade union membership.”