Surrey Woman Recovers £695,000.00 in compensation following a road traffic accident on 26/03/2007

Introduction

On 26/03/07, Ms F P an 18 year old woman suffered severe head and spinal injuries in a road traffic accident.

Ms F P was with 4 friends in a car driven by the first Defendant. The accident happened at approximately 1.30pm and the accident happened because the Defendant was driving too fast, lost control of his vehicle and collided with a parked car. The Defendant escaped uninjured and the other passengers suffered modest injuries.

Ms F P was wearing a lap seat belt at the time of the accident and this obviously did not give as much protection as the other full seat belts in the car.

She was taken by air ambulance to the Royal London Hospital where she remained in intensive care for approximately 1 month. She suffered a very serious head injury, namely blood clots and a swelling to the brain.  When she came out of her coma she was transferred to the Stroke Unit at the Epsom Hospital for intensive nursing and rehabilitation. She was discharged home on 15/05/07 to the care of her grandparents and has had a great deal of rehabilitation in the community since.

Legal Case

On 15/10/07 the Defendant pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in criminal proceedings and on 04/04/08 the Defendant admitted fault in respect of the civil proceedings ie this claim.

Medical Evidence

A number of reports were commissioned considering the Claimant's head and spinal injuries.  We also obtained reports to comment upon the Claimant's job prospects and care needs.  The head injury experts all shared the opinion that the Claimant had suffered a very severe head injury but had made a remarkable recovery and was left with mild to moderate brain damage as a consequence of her injuries. However, although her injuries were subtle they were sufficient to intrude upon her life and also on the balance of probabilities would prevent her doing anything more than part time work of an undemanding cognitive nature. Her Orthopaedic Surgeon felt her spinal injury was so severe in itself that it would prevent her doing a job that involved any manual handling and or any role where her ability to sit, stand and move around was restricted. The Claimant's head injury experts also felt that she would be unable to obtain further academic qualifications.

Legal proceedings were issued in the High Court on 09/03/10.

A Defence was served on 03/08/10 admitting liability and causation but putting the Claimant to proof on damages.

A Court timetable was fixed in August 2010 and the case was due to go to Court on  04/05/11.

The Settlement

Settlement negotiations began in earnest in December 2010. The Defendant made a first offer of £500,000.00 and then an improved second offer of just short of £594,000.00.   Ms F P made her first and only offer of £850,000.00 and the claim eventually settled on 23/03/2011 for £695,000.00.

The compensation was not broken down but a rough and ready breakdown follows:-

Award for pain, suffering and loss of amenity £70,000.

Past loss of earnings - £0

Past care £20,000

Future domestic assistance - £40,000

Future care £100,000

Future childcare £150,000

Future loss of earnings £315,000

In addition the Defendant also agreed to pay Ms F P's legal fees.