Amputee and Brain Injury Claimant Receives Compensation for Life
A scaffolder in his early 40’s from the south east, whilst unloading scaffolding from a lorry, was struck by a car, as he stood at the back of his lorry. The accident occurred on a cold morning, when it was difficult to see out of windscreens unless they had been properly cleaned. On this occasion the driver’s windscreen had not, hence the reason why the driver ploughed into my client.
As a result of the collision the scaffolder sustained a very serious brain injury and an equally serious leg injury. He was rushed to the local hospital where he was appropriately treated and remained a patient for some weeks.
Although he recovered consciousness and progressed, unfortunately the leg injury was less responsive to treatment and his condition deteriorated. As a consequence it became necessary to amputate the leg.
The family man was discharged home, where he began a long period of rehabilitation both in respect of the brain injury and amputation. He lived in a house and thus was unable to access all parts of his property. It prevented him from undertaking many activities, including playing with his son. He was not able to return to work.
The driver responsible for the injuries denied responsibility and thus it became necessary to commence legal action against the driver in order to recover compensation, to allow my client to rebuild his life. The driver denied allegations that he was at fault and thus a trial was necessary to determine if my client was entitled to recover compensation for the terrible injuries.
The trial judge found in favour of my client. As a result he was able to recover compensation and thus evidence was obtained to determine the appropriate level of money to meet his losses and expenses. The claim included money for the injuries, for loss of earnings for the remainder of his life, for the care received to date and the future nursing care, the medical treatment to enable him to cope with the effects of the head injury, alternative accommodation (as he was no longer able to live in a two storey property), equipment to make life easier (at home and when out and about) and the cost of prosthetics, to ensure he was able to remain active.
The claim was for a multi millions. The insurers of the responsible driver were interested in negotiating a settlement and thus meetings took place to explore a compromise. Those meetings brought about a resolution to the case, with my client accepting a lump sum award and an index linked annual sum, to be paid at determined intervals for the rest of his life.
Such a settlement brings about peace of mind. Whereas many cases are settled on a once and for all lump sum basis only, annual payments for life provide certainty and comfort.
This is because lump sum settlements assume a certain life expectancy. Such settlements can result in too little compensation if the injured person lives beyond the expected norm. In contrast annual payments for life run for as long as the person lives, so there is less risk of the compensation to pay for long term care costs, being inadequate.
In practical terms, although the marriage failed, due to the brain injury, sufficient monies were recovered to enable the former scaffolder to buy a new home, cover his loss of earnings for life, purchase good quality prosthetics to ensure he was always mobile and to pay for medical treatment and care, when he needs it. He would not have to rely on NHS services.