7 figure settlement for a client who suffered a brain injury in a road traffic accident

Damian Horan and his personal injury team secure a 7 figure settlement for a client who suffered a brain injury in a road traffic accident.

What happened?

Our client, aged 15 at the time, was a front seat passenger in a car which collided with the rear of a stationary lorry. Liability remained an issue until we were able to obtain the police evidence.

Injuries sustained by our client

Our client needed to be airlifted to hospital and treated in intensive care following the accident. She suffered a traumatic brain injury which left her with ongoing cognitive and behavioural difficulties, headaches, fatigue and anxiety issues. In addition, she sustained a spinal fracture,   rib and nasal fractures and  an injury to her shoulder.

What the Moore Barlow personal injury team did

On being instructed, we were able to secure the agreement of the Defendant’s insurers to fund an assessment of our client’s immediate needs, together with the appointment of a case manager and funding for the client to have physiotherapy, neuropsychological counselling and additional tutoring to ensure that she didn’t fall behind on schoolwork while liability was still in issue.

The reports which we obtained from medical-legal experts indicated that our client had made a remarkable recovery given the severity of her injuries and she wanted to move on with her life and not dwell on any ongoing effects of the accident. However, given that the full effects of brain injury can take time to manifest, particularly in the young, it was important not to settle the claim without proper consideration of the risks of future deterioration. We therefore had a number of conferences with leading Counsel, Stephen Killalea KC, the medical-legal experts, the client and her mother before deciding that it was safe to proceed to a settlement, taking into account future risks.

During the course of the claim, our client completed her schooling, obtaining good examination results, attained her majority, entered a relationship, moved to Scotland to be with her partner and started a job. It was not felt that she lacked capacity to manage her compensation and any damages but even so, given the issues involved, it was felt appropriate to obtain court approval of any proposed settlement.

The final settlement

We were able to secure a 7 figure settlement offer from the Defendant, which was significantly in excess of the figure our Counsel felt that the case would settle for if it was to proceed and the Defendant obtain its own medical evidence given our client’s good recovery. The settlement was approved by the High Court in London, which commended our seeking its approval despite the client being of age.

As our client was now resident in Scotland, we arranged for a Scottish law firm, Harper McLeod, to set up a personal injury trust under Scottish law into which her damages were paid and also arranged for her to receive financial advice from a firm of  Independent Financial Advisors.

The case illustrates the need to ensure that rehabilitation funding is addressed at an early stage to ensure that a brain injured client receives the best support as soon as possible, even if liability remains in dispute. I am delighted that our client has done so well in overcoming the effects of her very serious injuries and that we were able to secure a significant settlement to help provide for her future.

Damian Horan, Lead personal injury lawyer