7th December 2021
A then 45-year-old Traffic Officer was involved in a road accident when a criminal deliberately reversed a car into his police vehicle, causing it to rotate violently. He struck the side of his head on the vehicle’s A-frame and was dazed. He was able then to give chase on foot for roughly 15 minutes before becoming unwell with nausea, headache and dizziness. Marcus Grant represented the Claimant who was left with enduring symptoms.
Thereafter the Traffic Officer developed a constellation of symptoms commonly seen after a concussive head injury to include migraine headache, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and sound, impaired memory, difficulty sleeping, impaired concentration, reduced ability to multitask and mental fatigue.
He was diagnosed in A&E with a concussion and discharged home with reassurance that he would make a swift recovery. His recovery did not materialise and he became increasingly anxious as he became unable to work. He received neuro rehabilitation which focused on cognitive behavioural techniques and audio vestibular physiotherapy, none of which broke the deadlock of his symptoms.
He was forced to leave the Police Service after 20 years’ service on the ground of medical incapability, following which is mood levels dipped further. By the fourth anniversary of the accident he had become a shell of the man he was before the accident. He presented with profound mental fatigue, intrusive migraine headaches, impaired balance and loss of self-confidence. He had become dependent on his wife to prompt him.
He received a rehabilitation package that focused on getting him to engage in activities away from the home. The Covid lockdowns interfered with this rehabilitation.
His case was presented on the basis that he had sustained a mild traumatic brain injury with overlapping neuropsychiatric and audio vestibular injuries and had fallen into the small but significant cohort of mTBI patients who have lasting debilitating symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury.
It was contended on his behalf that he would be unlikely to recover any remunerative and capacity and that he needed a structured rehabilitation package that could be tapered down to a minimal maintenance level over the course of 24 months post settlement.
The defendant instructed a team of experts that was prepared to accept that he had sustained a technical mild traumatic brain injury per the Mayo classification criteria, but which contended that the organic contribution from the brain injury dissipated within a matter of months of the injury. It contended that his chronic presentation was explicable by a misinformed belief as to the seriousness of the brain injury and psychological factors that would resolve once the litigation was settled.
Various quantum arguments were raised about his ‘but for’ career model and residual earning capacity. The need for any substantive structured ongoing rehabilitation was denied.
The above settlement sum represented a compromise between the Parties’ respective positions.