B v. B 21.01.2022
£2.519m settlement for a 61-year-old bricklayer who developed lower limb, colorectal, neurological, and psychiatric injuries in a road accident.
He sustained bilateral comminuted tibia and fibular fractures, pelvic fractures, abdominal injury causing trauma to his bowel, kidney, and an aortic avulsion injury. He suffered hypovolaemic shock resulting in hypoxia to the brain and mild ischaemic brain damage. He suffered a major depressive disorder in response to the enforced lifestyle changes brought about by his catastrophic injuries.
He was unable to return home for 19 months after the accident and was cared for in hospital and then a specialist rehabilitation centre over that period before his wife then took over his care regime. He underwent physically and emotionally excruciating rehabilitation. He was left with compromised mobility, dependent on crutches over the short distances and a wheelchair over longer distances and modified car could accommodate a motorised wheelchair and be operated with hand controls only.
Arguments between the parties’ respective valuations of the claim centred over whether he required wheelchair compatible accommodation as opposed to single level accommodation, whether that accommodation should be sourced by reference to prices in East Anglia where he was living temporarily at the time of the accident and had all his post-accident rehabilitation or Scotland where he lived before the accident. Subsidiary issues arose regarding the valuation of his care needs and the extent to which they would increase with age and the effect of his enforced immobility and moderately severe depression on his life expectancy.
Arguments arose as to the extent to which it was appropriate to expect his wife to continue providing the any of his care Post settlement in the face of her deteriorating health and stresses within their marriage, and the extent to which he would need and tolerate input from support workers and/or case managers going forwards. The claimant was a proud and independent man before the accident and those characteristics remained with him through to the date of settlement.
The parties negotiated against that evidential stand-off. The case settled 10 months before trial through negotiation, with both parties moving away from their best-case positions.