Significant seven figure settlement secured for pedestrian hit by speeding motorist 

Damian Horan and his personal injury team secure a significant seven figure settlement for a brain injury sustained by a pedestrian hit by speeding motorist.

The accident and client background

At the time of the accident, our client was out for an early morning run before work. She was following a regular running route and as she attempted to cross the road, she was struck by a negligent motorist who was found to have been driving in excess of the upper 30-mph speed limit. 

Prior to the accident, our client enjoyed a very active lifestyle with interests in running and tennis. She was incredibly hardworking and had recently embarked on a very promising career. Following the collision, our client suffered serious and multiple injuries, including a very severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) which left her with cognitive difficulties and memory problems and meant that she had to give up her career. 

Moore Barlow’s expert advice and the challenges in the case 

What is contributory negligence?

The road in question was covered by automatic traffic signals, with a light controlled pedestrian crossing. Our case was that, in the circumstances, a safe and reasonable speed for a vehicle approaching the pedestrian crossing was significantly below 30mph. We also alleged that the defendant driver had failed to keep a proper lookout and failed to take notice of the presence of our client crossing the road.  

The defendant refuted the contention that a reasonable speed was significantly below 30mph for several reasons including the fact that traffic at the time was light and it was early in the morning at the time. It was their case that our client was wearing dark, matt clothing at the time, which meant she was not clearly visible to the driver.  It was also their case that at the time the collision occurred, our client had run into the road whilst using wearing headphones and without activating the pedestrian crossing facility. 

The case proceeded with the parties relying on key CCTV footage, accident reconstruction and medical causation evidence on the question of liability. Following this, an agreement was reached and approved by the Court, whereby the motorist accepted majority of the blame.

In this situation, where a client was found to be partly to blame for an accident or the injuries they have suffered in some way, this is referred to as contributory negligence. Where there is such a finding, a defendant may use this to argue that the level of compensation should be reduced. A finding of contributory negligence does not mean there is no claim however, and in this case, we were still able to achieve a significant settlement. 

How is compensation calculated?  

Assessing the full extent of our client’s damages required careful analysis of various documentation, extensive comprehensive evidence, medical records and witness statements to build a compelling case. In all personal injury cases, compensation is split into two separate elements:

  1. General damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity 
  2. Special damages 

General damages refer to the compensation awarded for the injuries sustained, so in our client’s case this included an award for the severity and extent of her traumatic brain injury. 

Special damages include any past, ongoing and future financial losses that have been incurred because of the accident. Examples may include loss of earnings because of no longer being able to work, cost of medical treatment and therapies to assist with rehabilitation and the costs of case management and care. 

Special damages are awarded based on an individual client’s need for support. In this case, we arranged rehabilitation and a care package for our client which was overseen by a specialist brain injury case manager and included neuropsychology, and occupational therapy.  

One of the key factors that arose in the case was being able to demonstrate the past use and benefit of such support and likely future benefit to our client.

The outcome of the case

To value the claim, expert evidence was obtained from various fields which included Neuroradiology, Neuropsychology, Neurorehabilitation, Neuropsychiatry, Orthopaedics, Care, Physiotherapy and Accommodation. This evidence was essential in providing authoritative opinions on the nature of our client’s injuries, prognosis, and future care requirements. In total, given the complexity of our client’s injuries and losses we secured permission from the court to instruct 18 medical and non-medical experts to determine the correct level of damages our client was entitled to.

A joint settlement meeting took place which unfortunately was unsuccessful but following further negotiations, and advice of Leading Counsel Susan Rodway KC who was instructed to represent the client at a subsequent mediation meeting, we concluded the claim at more than what had previously been offered. This demonstrates the benefits of mediation in personal injury claims. The settlement was approved by a Judge in the High Court.

The settlement achieved for our client aims to ensure that she will now have the necessary foundations for support in place and we hope that the settlement achieved allows our client to continue progressing and rebuilding her life. 

At the conclusion of the case, our client’s dad said: 

At the very beginning we were advised to get a good solicitor involved and you have certainly been that solicitor. We have always admired your kind manner and sensitivity towards ourselves and our family. It has made this difficult journey more bearable. We now hope to embrace the next chapter in life knowing that she will be financially secure and will have a better future.

I was delighted to be able to lead the team of talented lawyers who worked with me over many years to secure this outcome. The family turned to Headway for advice after being told by the police there was nothing the driver could have done to avoid the collision. By using independent accident reconstruction and CCTV experts we were able to show that with more careful driving the accident and our client’s life changing injuries were completely avoidable. Nothing will change the difficulty journey that lies ahead for our client, but the financial compensation will make sure she has the opportunity for a more fulfilling life.

Damian Horan, Partner – Personal injury

It was an absolute privilege representing this young lady and securing for her a more promising future. This was a challenging case, and its successful conclusion was no doubt hugely contributed to by the diligent and hard work of Damian and his excellent team at Moore Barlow.

Susan Rodway KC – 39 Essex Chambers

The Moore Barlow team

Damian Horan is widely regarded as one of the most experienced catastrophic injury solicitors in the UK, with an incredibly successful 30-year track record in achieving fantastic outcomes for clients. All of Damian’s cases are brought in the High Court in London and almost all the settlements achieved result in seven and eight figure compensation payments for the clients. Damian has a dedicated team of lawyers who work alongside him, all of whom have vast experience of succeeding in complex and high-value brain injury and spinal cord injury claims.

How Moore Barlow can help

Starting your personal injury claim with Moore Barlow is straightforward. Reach out to our personal injury lawyers for a no-obligation discussion about your situation. We’re ready to listen, guide you through your options, and when you’re ready, we’ll commence the journey towards securing your deserved compensation and supporting your recovery.