£6.5 Million Damages for Accident Victim in Minimally Conscious State

Some accident victims are so badly injured that they can do nothing for themselves and are certainly incapable of seeking legal advice. However, as a High Court case showed, that does not stand in the way of them securing the compensation needed to pay for their care.

The case concerned a man in his 20s who was a front-seat passenger in a friend's car when it left the road and crashed. He suffered catastrophic brain damage and has since been in a minimally conscious state from which he is never expected to emerge. He does, however, display some reaction to his surroundings, albeit intermittent and inconsistent, and there is evidence that he enjoys watching his favourite football team play on television.

His family sought legal advice and proceedings were launched on his behalf. The driver's insurers accepted liability for the accident but disputed the value of his claim. They initially contended that he should remain in the state-funded care home where he was resident and where his mother visited him twice daily.

The insurers, however, changed their position after the man was seen to shed tears on his first visit to his family home since the accident. Following that pivotal moment, they acceded to his family's wish that he should be looked after at home with the benefit of a 24-hour professional care regime.

On that basis, a £6.5 million settlement of his claim was agreed, a sum that will ensure that he receives the best possible care for the rest of his life and that a suitable house can be purchased and modified to meet his needs. The Court approved the settlement.

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