£5,400 compensation for whiplash caused by husband
Compensation of £5,400 was awarded to a 40 year-old woman at Chichester County Court for injuries including whiplash and lacerations.
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The injuries were sustained in a road traffic accident three years earlier when a member of her family collided with another vehicle on the road.
The claimant was a passenger in a car driven by her husband. They were travelling to Cornwall for a family holiday. The claimant's husband failed to notice another vehicle in time to avoid a collision.
In the impact, the claimant was thrown forwards and then backwards in her seat. She sustained whiplash injuries to her neck, shoulder and back. A gardening fork in the car fell on her leg. She suffered a laceration and grazing to her shin.
The claimant cleaned the wound with antiseptic wipes. She took paracetamol for the pain. They continued the journey to their holiday.
Three days later whilst on holiday the lady attended a local hospital. Her leg was dressed and she was given antibiotics for an infection of the wound.
The wound did not heal and remained infected. The claimant's leg was painful. She found walking difficult. She attended her own GP on three occasions after returning home. Prescriptions for antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication were given.
By six weeks after the accident the injury to her shin healed.
Pain continued in her neck, shoulders and back. The claimant experienced restricted movement and suffered discomfort.
The claimant had four young children. She was unable to look after them and carry out her domestic responsibilities. Lifting her children and doing shopping were particularly painful. Her sleep was disturbed. She took painkillers and used a heat rub on her neck and back.
The pains in her neck, back and shoulders gradually eased. Her back was the most persistent area of pain. She recovered from the whiplash completely 12 months after the accident.
The scar on her shin healed but was visible. The claimant felt a lump on her shin. The scar was red and itchy at times. She felt a burning sensation occasionally. She treated this with cream and paracetamol.
She attended a dermatologist 20 months after the accident as the scar felt uncomfortable. It was mildly tender when touched. The dermatologist diagnosed the discomfort as minor but permanent. The scar was 2cm long.
It was alleged that the defendant had been negligent insofar as they failed to drive their car safely, causing a collision.
As a result the claimant suffered whiplash injuries to the neck, back and shoulder as well as laceration and grazes to her shin.
The claimant was unable to enjoy her holiday fully. On return she was unable to look after her four young children as before.
The whiplash injuries healed completely within 12 months.
The laceration left a noticeable scar that would be permanent.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was not admitted and the matter progressed to a Court hearing.
The Judge concluded that the claimant's husband was responsible for the accident.
Compensation of £5,400 was accepted by way of a Court award.
£2,700 of the damages was attributed to the injuries to the claimant's neck, back and shoulders.
For the laceration to the claimant's leg and scar she received an award of £2,700.
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
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