Serious Road Accidents Can Affect Families for Generations to Come


Road accidents happen in an instant but can have lifelong consequences not just for those immediately involved but for their families and, in some cases, even future generations. That was sadly so in the case of a young woman who was a passenger in her boyfriend’s car when he crashed into a tree.

The woman sustained a serious brain injury in the collision. She had in many ways made a better recovery than expected, but she suffered from such acute fatigue that she often had difficulty getting up in the morning. Her ability to organise her daily life was seriously impaired and she was heavily reliant on the care and support of members of her family.

Since the accident, she had given birth to children by her new partner, one of whom was seriously disabled. Whilst the driver’s insurers admitted primary liability for the accident, there was a dispute as to the extent to which her care responsibilities for the child should be reflected in her compensation. The difficulty in separating her own needs from those of her child further complicated her claim in respect of accommodation costs. There was also a debate as to whether she was herself negligent in failing to wear a seatbelt.

Following negotiations, however, a £6 million lump-sum settlement of her personal injury claim was secured. It was also agreed that she could return to court for further compensation if she develops uncontrolled epilepsy prior to the 20th anniversary of the accident.

Approving the award, the High Court praised her lawyers for their thorough handling of the case and their close attention to her best interests. Glowing tribute was paid to the strong and loyal support given to her by her family, particularly her mother and grandmother. No one could have done more to help her cope with the consequences of the accident.

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