Road accident victims often do their utmost to pick up the pieces and get on with their lives. However, as one High Court case showed, specialist lawyers are always there to help if a full recovery proves impossible.
The case concerned a young university graduate who was cycling to work at a coffee bar when she was struck down by a car. She suffered a serious spinal injury that has left her in constant pain. There were also psychiatric consequences and her hopes of forging a career in the police force have been dashed. After a personal injury claim was commenced, the car driver's insurers admitted 80 per cent liability for the accident. However, they disputed the amount of compensation due to her.
In ruling on her case, the Court found her to be an honest, reliable and credible witness. Formerly a very active individual, she will require pain relief medication for the rest of her life. She had travelled extensively after leaving university, but the Court found that she would probably have settled down and achieved her dream of a police career. Given her qualifications, she would not have been satisfied with working in a coffee bar for long.
She was awarded a total of £230,271 in damages, including £72,000 for her pain, suffering and loss of amenity and £153,951 in respect of lost earnings and pension rights.