M v. H 23.03.21
A 57-year-old lawyer recovered £680,000 in respect of post traumatic tinnitus sustained in a rear-end shunting road accident.
M sustained a standard whiplash injury in a modest rear-end shunting accident from which both vehicles could be driver from the scene.
On the day of the accident he went on to develop bilateral tinnitus. The pain from the soft tissue injuries settled quickly but the tinnitus persisted. M continued to experience the following sound (on mid volume) in both ears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HIfqyHbKgY&t=19s
This became intolerable in any work environment requiring quiet contemplation to concentrate on reading and assimilating written documentation in order to discharge the professional needs of his legal practice.
He sought treatment which did not help and was forced to abandon his legal practice. After. Period of adjustment he found alternative work as a lorry driver, the noise of the vehicle’s engine extinguishing much of the tinnitus sufficient to enable him to concentrate on driving.
H’s response was initially one of disbelief; subsequently H sought to attribute the tinnitus to pre-existing psychological vulnerability and sought to undermine the value of M’s legal career by reason of that vulnerability, whilst simultaneously arguing for a more optimistic future prognosis.
The case settled through negotiation.