A UNISON member who was involved in a car smash and left needing spinal surgery has received compensation with the help of union lawyers. The grandmother-of-four from County Durham, whose name has not been released, suffered a slipped disc after her car was hit from behind by a 4x4 as she was waiting at a roundabout. She was not working at the time of the 2008 incident, but was driving to visit her dad. Initially she suffered pain in her neck and shoulders which improved with physiotherapy. However, over the following months she began to suffer from tingling in her legs and heaviness in her arms. She was told she would need surgery and for a year had to be put on restricted duties in her job as a client care warden for Durham County Council. She had surgery to replace a disc in her spine and had to take four months off work to recover. A union-backed compensation claim led to the driver of the other vehicle admitting liability. The claim was settled out of court for £21,596. Nazia Quyoom from Thompsons Solicitors, the law firm brought in by UNISON to act in the case, 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.'

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