£30,000 awarded to pillion passenger on motorcycle
The male claimant was awarded £30,000 for pain and suffering and loss of amenity when he was involved in a road traffic accident as a pillion passenger on a motorcycle.
The claimant was aged 12 at the time of the accident and was a pillion passenger on his grandfather's motorcycle when it collided with another motorcycle at a cross roads. His grandfather suffered fatal injuries.
Details of injury
The claimant was taken to hospital by air ambulance and was taken straight in to surgery. He was unconscious and had fractures to both femurs and his left arm.
Bilateral external fixators were fitted to both thighs while his arm was placed in plaster. The fixators were replaced with metal pins in both femurs five days later.
The external framework had caused the claimant to be in substantial pain and he required the emotional and physical assistance of his parents.
The claimant remained in hospital for eighteen days following the accident and when he eventually returned home he was provided with a hospital bed to reduce the risk of any further injury. He lived and slept in the family lounge. He was unable to climb the stairs at home to get to the family bathroom and so his parents had to help him wash and use a commode. His mobility improved and by four months after the accident he was able to use crutches to get around the house. However, he still required the use of a wheelchair outdoors.
The new school term began five months after the accident and the claimant returned part time. He did not return full time until seven months after the accident. He was unable to take part fully in physical education or return to his Scout group.
The claimant was left with permanent scarring from the external brackets and from further surgery that had taken place to try remove the metal nails from one femur. One of the nails was successfully removed but the others had become embedded. It was expected that they would remain in place permanently. This placed the claimant at risk if he sustained further injuries to his legs.
Some of the metal pins were protruding into the soft tissue around his knees which left him with some pain.
Along with his physical injuries the claimant also suffered travel anxiety, disturbed sleep and loss of confidence. He recovered fully within eighteen months.
Conclusion and Settlement
A settlement could not be agreed between the claimant and defendant and the matter went before the Court. The claimant was aged 16 at the date of trial when £50,000 was awarded in respect of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
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