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Personal Injury Case Studies

Victim of false imprisonment wins personal injury claim

The Client was falsely accused of shoplifting at a Marks & Spencer store. She was held against her will, deprived of contacting relatives and/or a legal representative and interrogated for up to half an hour before the mistake was realised. Liability was contested throughout but settlement achieved of £40,000.00.

Truck driver suffers multiple injuries in traumatic road traffic accident

The Claimant, now aged 54 years, was involved in a road traffic accident in September 2011 when the truck he was driving was initially involved in a minor collision with a car being driven by the Defendant, travelling in the lane to the right of him along the A2. The Claimant was able to control his truck, but the Defendant’s vehicle then disappeared from view before swinging across the carriageway into the driver’s side of the truck, causing it to be pushed over towards the hard shoulder. The truck then rolled two or three times and hit the crash barrier on the hard shoulder.

The Claimant was partially ejected through the driver’s side window of the truck and trapped underneath the cab.

The Claimant suffered extensive orthopaedic and other injuries including broken ribs, a broken femur and multiple pelvic fractures. He also suffered a serious injury to his right hand, together with internal injuries and the psychological effects of the accident. Medical evidence from experts in five separate disciplines was obtained.

The mechanism of the accident raised complex evidential issues regarding the effects of “rollover” of a vehicle.

Seriously injured pedestrian receives compensation despite lack of witnesses

The male Claimant, 50 at settlement, was knocked over by a car late one night in August 2007 in Bishop Auckland. He suffered very serious injuries including a severe brain injury and multiple fractures which left him bed bound. There were no independent witnesses to the accident and the Claimant had no memories of it. He had been drinking that evening and the driver and two passengers described him stepping out in front of the car at the last second. Another recognised firm of personal injury solicitors had previously been instructed but, supported by an advice from counsel, had, at length, rejected the case.

CWJ were instructed in autumn 2008 on a Conditional Fee Agreement. Liability remained an issue throughout. The claim was valued at approximately £2 million on full value. After proceedings were issued, the defendant’s insurers initially offered £300,000.00 but in June 2011 the matter settled for £800,000.00 which was approved in the Royal Court of Justice.

The Defendant’s insurers accepted primary liability for the accident but alleged contributory negligence against the Claimant as they said he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. The claim was settled in March 2015 without the need for a Trial. The Claimant was awarded a total of £95,000 in damages.

Man loses arm in accident at work

Accident at work claim involving the client’s left arm becoming trapped in a conveyor belt at an aggregate processing plant. This resulted in his left arm having to be amputated above the elbow. The defendant whilst admitting primary liability argued extensively over the issue of contributory negligence. Damages were agreed at over £500,000.00.

Man compensated for psychiatric illness caused by work email leak

Stress at work claim involving an email being sent out concerning the client’s poor performance to a large number of work colleagues. The claim was particularly difficult as it was a “one off event” (such claims rarely succeed) and involved allegations of fraud. To add weight to the client’s claim it was argued that a breach of the Data Protection Act had also occurred. Settlement was achieved at over £250,000.00 one day before trial.

Home's failure causes disabled resident additional harm

The female Claimant, 30 at settlement, had severe pre existing learning difficulties and epilepsy. In summer 2005 she became a resident at a house run by the defendant company. While providing them with a degree of independent living, the residents still required specialist care and the company provided live-in carers. The claimant needed to wear a helmet to protect her head when she suffered drop seizures and it was the responsibility of the carers to ensure that she wore it securely at all times.

The Claimant had a fall on the stairs of the house on 5 December 2005, her helmet was not properly secured and she suffered a brain injury. The claim was complicated by the fact of her high pre existing dependency and therefore the extent to which the cost of any ongoing care and support needs would have existed before in any event which limited the overall value of the claim.

I​​nitially the defendant’s insurer put forward a lump sum offer to settle of just over £1.1 million. However, after demanding a periodical payment offer, the defendant then offered a lump sum of £220,000.00 plus CRU benefits plus periodical payments of £32,500.00 per annum increasing on the 80th percentile of ASHE. The offer was accepted and approved by Master Eastman on 5 December 2011 in the RCJ.

Complex claim for psychological harm following head injury

Woman knocked over by motorbike suffering head injury and then developed eating disorder preventing her from working - she retained her pre accident cognitive capacity. Complex issues on causation relating to eating disorder and pre existing personal issues. Made good physical recovery but still residual psychological issues at settlement, 1 month before trial. Case settled for £1.8 million reduced by one third to account for previously agreed contrib.

Compensation for pedestrian hit by car and for sons who witnessed his severe injuries

The male claimant, 70 at time of settlement, was knocked down by a car, suffering leg fractures, internal injuries and a head injury. He retained capacity. He continued to struggle with day to day tasks and relied heavily on his wife for support. He was able to walk with a stick and was still able to drive. He managed to go on foreign holidays but tended to rely on other family members to go with him and his wife for care and assistance. Although he suffered from ongoing pain in his legs, the prognosis was that his condition would not deteriorate other than with the normal ageing process. His claim settled for £500,000. Two of his adult sons who witnessed their father's disfiguring injuries in the immediate aftermath of the accident brought successful secondary victim claims for the psychological effect this had upon them, recovering £15,000 and £10,000 respectively.

Compensation for loss of future income after accident

Both cases settled for £100,000.00 each. Significant in that they both demonstrated how Table A from 6th edition of Ogden can lead to much greater awards than a Smith v Manchester would have previously. In W the claimant suffered a broken wrist that led to her changing her career path. The new career promised higher income than pre accident but claim was presented on the basis that new career was within her pre accident capabilities and could be used as basis for significant future loss claim. The majority of the settlement represented future loss of earnings. In D the claimant suffered a broken ankle but was earning more at settlement than at date of accident, albeit in same career as electrician. He would previously have been entitled to a Smith v Manchester but using a Table A approach was able to settle on the basis of a significant future loss of earnings claim.

Claimant secures compensation to cover future amputation costs

The male Claimant, 49 at date of accident, 51 at settlement, suffered crush injuries to both lower legs when a car drove into him while he was standing at the back of his van loading tools. 2 ½ years post accident the bone in the right leg had still not united and there was an estimated 25% that he would go on to lose the leg. The prognosis was far from clear but the Defendant’s insurers called a joint settlement meeting. The Claimant put forward a claim based on him losing his leg and was not prepared to settle on a compromise basis of the leg being saved. Settlement was achieved at £1.25 million which reflected damages on the basis of amputation, including the cost of prostheses, significant future loss of earnings and care. Legal proceedings were not issued.

Boat accident in Maldives

Claim involving an accident abroad in the Maldives – a boat transferring the client from the island of Olhuveli to Male blew up causing the client to suffer extensive burns and psychological injury after being left in the middle of the ocean without help. The claim was brought against the tour operator under the Package Travel Regulations 1992. Liability proved difficult owing to relatively little information being available in respect to health and safety laws in the Maldives particularly relating to boats. Damages were recovered on behalf of the client although this was subject to an anonymity order.

Accident affecting future career and income leads to substantial award

The male Claimant was 17 at the time of the accident and 19 at settlement. He was the front seat passenger in a car driven by his friend when it overturned on a bend. He had left school the previous day. He suffered a bleed to the brain, fractured pelvis and vertebra, fractured ribs and internal injuries including loss of his spleen. He had not planned to go to university but in the September of the same year, started a catering course at college. It proved too early for him to focus on his future so he left in early 2010 and started an IT course later that year which proved successful and which led to a place at University starting September 2011. He made a good recovery from his injuries but suffered from intermittent back ache and would need to take antibiotics for the rest of his life due to the loss of his spleen. Despite good prospects, no obvious past loss of earnings, and a good prognosis, the claim settled for £150,000.00 which incorporated a significant Smith v Manchester/ future loss of earnings award.