Damages for a ruined army career

We have recently completed a case for a client who suffered a whiplash injury and aggravated depression as a result of a rear-end shunt road traffic accident.

At the time of the accident, our client had recently been accepted into the Army. He was unable to remain in the Army as a result of his injuries and suffered a bad psychological reaction to the loss of his chosen career.

During the course of the claim, it became apparent from the psychiatric evidence that our client was suffering from a bipolar disorder and that this could not have been caused by the accident. Although he had been able to join the Army, both psychiatric experts were of the view that he would not have been able to remain in the Army for very long, regardless of the accident, due to his incipient bipolar disorder. Whilst no one could say for certain as to when our client would have been compelled to leave the Army had the accident not occurred, the evidence suggested that this would have been within a few years of the accident in any event. Our psychiatric expert was, if anything, more pessimistic of this than of the Defendant.

The Defendant’s initial settlement offer was £30,000, once they had obtained their own medical evidence. After various court applications and arguments, they increased their offer to £100,000.00, which could have put significant cost risks on our client given the way the psychiatric evidence was shaping up.

However, it was clear that the Defendant’s solicitors could not be sure as to which way a court would go. We felt that there was scope to obtain more for the client in negotiation, although it would be too risky to allow the case to go to court. After various offers and counter-offers, we agreed to a settlement of £155,000, which was significantly higher than the sum we felt the client would have been likely to receive had the case been allowed to go to court.