It is not common for drug-taking to be a factor in a personal injury settlement, but a recent case has dealt with this specific point.
The claim concerned the death of a motorcyclist in a road traffic accident. The court ruled that the level of the compensation award should be reduced by 15 per cent because of the presence of traces of cocaine in the deceased’s blood. Expert evidence was given that the presence of the drug would have affected the dead man’s reaction times. In addition, the claim for future loss of earnings was reduced by a further 40 per cent because of evidence given that the man was addicted to cocaine.