£593k compensation for emergency services related injury
A 45 year old woman was awarded £593,293.24 as a result of a road accident involving delays on the part of the emergency services.
The claimant was travelling as a passenger on a bus in Central London, when the same was involved in an incident. The claimant was thrown from the seat she was about to take and ended up wedged between seats. The claimant could not free herself. She was in immediate pain. It was feared that she may have dislocated her knee.
Urgent calls were made on mobile telephones by several passengers on the bus to call for an ambulance to attend the scene. The Emergency Services confirmed that an ambulance had been despatched to the scene. The claimant was in severe pain with her leg being trapped. Despite this the advice given on the telephone by ambulance controllers was not to move the claimant for fear of making the injury worse.
Despite assurances from Ambulance Control that an ambulance had been despatched it took nearly an hour for it to arrive at the scene. The claimant was taken to Hospital and treated for her physical injuries.
Injuries and Progression
As a result of being trapped for so long the claimant quickly began to experience a severe psychological reaction. The claimant was diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Symptoms manifested themselves in the form of severe anxiety, accident recall, dreams of a feeling of being trapped again and depression. The claimant also developed physical seizures. These would involve not being able to speak or move.
Initially it was not diagnosed that these symptoms related to the PTSD reaction. It took a year and half post accident for the physical reaction to be attributed to the accident.
Settlement and Outcome
Because of the physical and psychological symptoms the claimant could not continue in her pre-accident occupation. . She became reclusive following moving her family from London to Wales. She would be prone to collapsing whilst out in public. Despite having extensive treatment her symptoms did not improve. Her ability to hold down a job was significantly impaired.
The suggestion from medical experts was that she would not be able to hold down any meaningful employment as her symptoms were permanent. The claimant's and defendants solicitors entered into meaningful negotiations to try reach an amicable settlement. Negotiations failed and as a result court proceedings were taken.
At trial the Judge agreed that the claimant's symptoms were permanent. He awarded the claimant £60,000.00 for her pain suffering and loss of amenity. The remainder of the award was made up of care costs and future loss of earnings. The total award being just short of £600,000.00.