£249,000 awarded for serious pelvis injury

A female passenger was awarded £249,000 at the High Court in London for fractured pelvis following a high-speed road traffic accident.

Circumstances

The Claimant was a passenger in a car driven by the Defendant and was wearing a seatbelt. The Defendant was at fault for the accident which caused serious and permanent injuries. The collision was at high speed

Establishing liability

Lliability was admitted by the Defendant's motor insurers. The only issues between the parties were causation for the injuries and the potential value of the Claimant's compensation.

Injuries and progression of the case

The Claimant suffered a comminuted fracture of her pelvis. A comminuted fracture is a break or splinter of the bone into more than two fragments. These are usually caused by high speed impacts such as in a car accident. The fracture also involved the pubic bone. The Claimant also fractured the upper two thirds of her thigh bone. The Claimant owned and ran a pharmacy and her day-to-day job involved a significant amount of standing.

The Claimant was no longer able to perform her job as she had done prior to the accident. In addition to the pelvic injury, the Claimant also suffered a knee injury which had an effect on her ability to stand for long periods.

A decision was taken to sell the business. It was established that it would not have been economically viable to employ additional staff to cover the Claimant's duties. The Claimant could only find work which was not as well paid as her pharmacy business.

Settlement

The Claimant's and Defendant's solicitors entered into negotiations to try reach an amicable settlement. However negotiations broke down and the Claimant instructed her solicitors to commence court proceedings. The matter reached trial 4 years after the accident took place.

In addition to claiming damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity, the Claimant claimed loss of earnings. The Claimant claimed the annual difference between her earnings in her new job at trial and what she would have earned had she still been running her own business.

The High Court Judge sitting on the Queen's Bench Division in London awarded the Claimant £30,000 for her pain suffering and loss of amenity. He accepted that her pain and discomfort symptoms were on going. He also awarded her a further sum for her reduced earnings capacity making a total award of £249,000.