Teenage Road Accident Victim Receives Almost £3 Million in Compensation


Promising young lives are sadly ruined every day by road traffic accidents. Nothing can make up for such tragedies but, as a High Court case showed, compensation can at least soften the blow and give hope for the future.

The case concerned a teenager who was one of five young men in a car that was seen travelling at excessive speed by a number of independent witnesses. As the car rounded a bend, the driver was confronted by a slow-moving line of traffic. He braked hard but lost control. The car veered onto the wrong side of the road, colliding with an oncoming vehicle.

The driver was fatally injured and the teenager sustained a depressed skull fracture and traumatic brain damage. He endured three bouts of surgery and several months of rehabilitation before he could be discharged home. He was, before the accident, a vibrant young man, keen on sport and physical fitness, who was just starting out on his working life.

He had made good progress in the years since and had proved able to move into a home of his own. He had the benefit of hugely supportive parents and was keen to find paid employment. He had, however, suffered a number of frightening epileptic seizures related to his head injury. Although currently well controlled, his epilepsy could recur, thereby compromising his independence and ability to work.

Although the car driver’s insurers admitted primary liability for the accident, a 25 per cent reduction in the teenager’s compensation was agreed on the basis that he had not been wearing a seatbelt. Following negotiations, a final settlement of his claim was achieved for a lump sum of £2,962,500.

Of that sum, his parents received a total of £47,000 as some modest reflection of the selfless care they had given him. A provisional award was also agreed whereby he could obtain further compensation in the event that his uncontrolled epilepsy resurfaced. Approving the settlement, the High Court had no hesitation in finding that it was just, fair and in his best interests.

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