£2,452 awarded after car accident caused by snow

The female claimant was awarded damages of £2,452 after being involved in a car accident.

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Case details

Accident circumstances

The claimant was aged 20 at the time of the accident. She was driving around a roundabout when she was hit by the defendant's vehicle. The defendants car had slid on some snow which caused it to hit the front of the claimant's car.

Injury Details

The claimant began to experience headaches after the accident as well as pain and aching to her left shoulder, lower back, wrist and ankles. When she attended hospital after the accident she also reported pain in her left knee which was swollen. She had previously undergone an operation on that knee and the accident had worsened the condition. Although it was painful, it did improve within a week after taking pain killers and resting. The pain in her back, wrist and ankles eased within two days and her headache lasted a day.

However, the pain in her left shoulder did not heal as quickly and she was having to use heat pads to ease the pain six months after the accident. She advised that if she sat in the same position for a long period of time, did any heavy lifting or stretched her arm the pain would be worse. The claimant worked as a police community support officer and reported that the pain in her shoulder meant wearing the heavy stab vests at work was painful.

When she was examined by a medico-legal expert twelve months after the accident she had made a full recovery from her injuries.

Conclusion and Settlement

The claimant alleged that the defendant had been negligent as they had failed to stop in time and liability was admitted. Although the parties were able to agree special damages of £452 an agreement could not be reached in respect of general damages.

The matter was therefore heard by the Court and the Judge awarded damages of £2,000 in respect of pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

When making his decision the Judge noted that the injury fell into Chapter 6 (A)(c) of the JSB Guidelines for minor soft tissue and whiplash injuries "and the like". The minor additional symptoms would not take the damages beyond this bracket.

Read more: road accident compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher