A UNISON member who was involved in a car accident and was left needing spinal surgery has received compensation after help from her trade union’s lawyers.

The grandmother-of-four from County Durham suffered a slipped disc in her spine after her car was hit from behind by a 4 x 4 whilst she was waiting at a roundabout.

On the day of the accident in 2008 she was driving to visit her dad when she was hit on the A690 near Doxford Park.

Initially she suffered pain in her neck and shoulders which improved with physiotherapy but over the coming months she began to suffer from tingling in her legs and heaviness in her arms.

Surgery needed after car accident

She was told she would need surgery and had to be put on restricted duties in her job as a client care warden for Durham County Council for a year.

She had surgery to replace a disc in her spine and had to take four months off work to recover.

Following the accident she instructed UNISON’s lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors, to handle the insurance claim. The driver of the other vehicle admitted liability.

It was found that the accident brought forward problems in her spine by five years and the other driver’s insurers settled the claim out of court for £21,596.

Right to seek independent legal advice from solicitors of their own choice

The member said: “I was shocked when the car hit me as I was stationary at a roundabout and it was the last thing I was expecting. I had some pain in my neck and shoulders which seemed to get worse. I then began to suffer tingling in my legs. It was clear in an MRI scan that I needed surgery.

“The surgery has dramatically improved things and I’ve fortunately been able to return to full duties in my job. I’m delighted that Thompsons has been able to achieve this settlement.”

Nazia Quyoom from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This member suffered a significant injury through no fault of her own which had an impact on her working and social life. Those injured in a car accident have a right to seek independent legal advice from solicitors of their own choice, including their trade union’s legal service.”