Just Outcome for Tragic Road Accident Victim
A good personal injury lawyer combines ability as an advocate, legal knowledge and, perhaps most importantly, negotiating skills. In a case on point, a catastrophically injured road accident victim called upon specialist representation to cut through myriad legal complexities and achieve a seven-figure settlement of her claim.
The woman, then a teenager, was a rear-seat passenger in a car when its driver lost control on a bend and went into a ditch. Thrown from the wreckage, she suffered facial, orthopaedic and internal injuries from which she made a good recovery. Most seriously, she sustained a brain injury which, it was asserted, left her in need of round-the-clock professional care.
Damage to the frontal lobe of her brain was said to have caused a profound change in her personality together with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. She had, amongst other things, formed unsuitable relationships with men and attempted suicide more than once. Due to concerns about self-harm, she had at one point been compulsorily detained under mental health legislation.
After proceedings were launched, the Motor Insurers' Bureau accepted primary liability to compensate her. However, it alleged that she had herself been careless in failing to wear a seatbelt. It argued that her difficulties were rooted in a borderline personality disorder which was unrelated to the accident and that she was in any event unlikely to accept a 24-hour care regime.
Following exchange of expert evidence, however, a £3.75 million lump-sum settlement of her claim was negotiated. In the light of the numerous evidential and legal difficulties posed by the case, and the litigation risks arising from them, the High Court was prepared to approve the settlement.