£60,500 awarded to train accident victim.

Circumstances

The claimant was a passenger on the defendant's train. The train crashed into dead end signs at the end of a platform and two passengers were killed. The driver was found to be at fault having tested positive two days later for cannabis. The train was found to have had no fault with its braking system. The defendants were found to be vicariously liable for their driver's actions. Liability was not in dispute.

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Case details

Injuries and Progression

The train crash resulted in the claimant being trapped for a number of hours. He was trapped by his lower legs. With the aid of emergency services he was freed from the wreckage of the train. He suffered significant injuries to his legs. Initially he underwent three surgical procedures to have significant grafting where he had suffered substantial skin loss.

After a total of nine operations the claimant was still left with significant cosmetic deformity and scarring. Not surprisingly the claimant developed psychological overlay as a result of the considerable effects of his physical injuries.

The claimant underwent a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to try improve the psychological symptoms but these were deep rooted. The symptoms manifested themselves in bouts of depression. There was a general loss of confidence. The claimant became withdrawn. He lacked drive and energy. His ability to work was initially impaired, although this improved.

Court Award

The claimant's and defendants solicitors entered into negotiations to try reach an amicable settlement. This proved to unsuccessful. The claimant commenced court proceedings in order to secure a fair and just settlement. The matter was eventually heard by a Judge seven years after the crash.

The Judge accepted that by trial there had been a substantial improvement in the claimant's symptoms. He had managed to return to one of his main hobbies of surfing. The claimant's ability to work was not effected in the long term. The claimant was left with significant scarring and a susceptibility to suffering further psychological trauma if a similar life threatening event occurred.

The judge awarded the claimant the sum of £60,500.00 for his pain suffering and loss of amenity.

Read more: public place accident compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher