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Compensation For Pedestrian Struck Down By Vehicle

Our personal injury team helped a man to claim more than £3 million in compensation after he was involved in an accident while crossing the road.

On 18 April 2007 our client was crossing a road in Sydenham. He was accompanied by a friend who was blind, when they were both struck by a vehicle. The driver was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. Nevertheless, the driver's representatives alleged that our client was at fault in stepping out into the path of the oncoming car.

Eventually liability was agreed with the driver said to be 90% at fault. As our client was a protected party, this settlement had to be approved by the Court.

At the time of the incident our client had been suffering for many many years from Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. He lived with his father who provided for his basic needs such as feeding him and doing his laundry. However, apart from that our client was able to lead a fairly independent life. He will travel around London on his own to see friends.

Our client's father was over 80 at the time that the case went to a hearing in November 2009. So even if our client had not been injured, it is likely that his father would only have been able to look after him for a few years.

The physical injuries sustained by our client were severe. They placed great limitations on his dexterity and mobility. He was also significantly affected psychologically.

As a result, our client was left needing round-the-clock care and attention. However, the defendants disagreed as to whether the level of care has to continue for ever. Indeed they argued that much of the care that our client was receiving post-accident, was in effect provided beforehand. According to the defendant, this meant that the 24-hour care regime should have been substantially reduced.

After this incident occurred, we instructed a case manager. We secured interim payments which allowed the case manager to find a home for our client to stay on a short term basis once he had been discharged from Stoke Mandeville. Our client had sustained a spinal injury and although he was able to walk, he still had balance difficulties and was at risk of falling over.

On advice from the occupational therapist at Stoke Mandeville, our client needed a ground floor flat as he had difficulty in dealing with steps. This meant his father’s flat was no longer appropriate as it had many levels and was on the second floor. Alternative accommodation had to be provided for our client as well as the 24-hour care regime.

Two applications for interim payments were needed in order to fund this regime. These were hotly disputed by the defendants on both occasions but our client won these applications.

The parties were unable to agree terms of settlement. The defendants not only contended that the past care regime was unnecessary but they also argued that in the future, the client would have been looked after by Social Services in any event.

The case went to trial in the High Court. The judge decided:

Our client was perfectly entitled to have had set up on his behalf the 24-hour care regime to the date of the hearing.

He found that he was justified in continuing the regime until such time as had the incident not have occurred, his father would no longer have been able to have looked after him.

The Judge also found that from that time it is likely that members of the family would have looked after our client although they would have called in some outside help and some deduction was made from the claim for care as a result of this.

Essentially, our client won on more or less all those points that were argued.  He called six expert witnesses to support his claim and eleven lay witnesses to establish what would have happened to him if this incident would not have occurred, and how he had changed since the incident. It is fair to say that all of the evidence presented on behalf of our client was accepted. Where this was in disagreement with the defendant’s expert evidence, the evidence brought on behalf of our client was preferred.

Our client was awarded £3.32 million compensation. The judge was asked to consider whether or not periodical payments were appropriate but decided they were not.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident as a pedestrian, our specialist road traffic accident solicitors could help you to claim compensation. See our Pedestrian Accident Compensation page for more information.

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