No two personal injury cases are the same and assessing the appropriate amount of compensation always requires expert professional judgment. That was certainly so in the case of a young man who sustained a catastrophic brain injury when he was struck by a car in the early hours of the morning.
Aged in his 20s at the time, the accident left him vulnerable to exploitation. His vision was significantly impaired and he was deeply frustrated that he could no longer drive or play football. He lacked motivation and had difficulty forming and maintaining social relationships, leading to a sense of isolation.
After proceedings were brought, the motorist’s insurers admitted primary liability. They alleged that the man bore partial responsibility for what happened but, following negotiations, agreed to pay £1,675,000 in compensation. That sum represented 50 per cent of the full value of his claim.
Approving the settlement, the High Court noted that there was a plethora of issues in the case, giving rise to litigation risks. It could not be known whether his somewhat chaotic lifestyle prior to the accident arose merely from the carelessness of youth. There was a debate as to whether he would have conquered his difficulties with alcohol and settled down to steady employment in due course.
There were issues as to the availability of care resources in the overseas country where he lived and whether he would be able to tolerate a care regime. He now recognised the problems his drinking had caused and the Court hoped that a virtuous cycle of improvement could be established, enabling him to stay out of trouble and enjoy as fulfilled a life as possible.