Client recovers substantial lost earnings exceeding £800,000
I recently concluded a case for a client who was involved in a road traffic accident in December 2017. He had been crossing at a zebra crossing when he was struck by a car travelling at about 30 mph. This caused him to fall and hit his head which was said to have struck the kerb with force. On arrival the paramedics found my client to be alert, but confused and repetitive. He had not been knocked out but had a large head wound and was complaining of head pain.
My client was born and brought up in Hong Kong until the age of 4. His family then moved to the UK. He has a brother and a sister who both work in the restaurant business, as did his parents who are now retired. He reported nothing unusual about his childhood and progressed well enough at school for his ability level. In fact, my client was a highly intelligent and high functioning individual. He obtained a first-class honours degree in Pure Mathematics and Statistics at university, obtaining the top mark for his year. After that he trained as an Actuary in half the average time.
He worked in general insurance, and then in consultancy, eventually selling the business for a substantial sum. At the time of his injury, my client had returned to employment and was working on a niche project within a well-known insurance firm. Normally my client would work on a full-time basis but following the accident he was only able to work part-time and in a reduced capacity.
Aside from his head injury, my client was diagnosed with a minimally displaced fracture of the right C7 lamina/pedicle, right fifth rib fracture and fractured ring finger. He had a large scalp laceration to the back of the head. He did not recall events prior to the accident. A CT brain scan reported that there was no intra- or extra-axial haemorrhage. A later MRI scan did however show evidence of microhaemorrhages consistent with diffuse axonal injury which explained some of my client’s continuing problems.
My client commenced a phased return to work after several months off. He found that tasks were taking him longer to complete as he became easily distracted and struggled with the complexities of his work. It was obvious that further rehabilitation might improve his situation. I engaged a case manager who set various rehabilitation goals, one of which was to develop working strategies for my client to overcome his cognitive deficiencies through the help of a neuropsychologist. Over time my client saw improvement enough to increase his days at work, but it was short lived, and his days were reduced again.
My client earned a substantial basic salary and bonus. In his previous years he exceeded set targets and was considered a leader in his industry. However, with tasks taking him longer to complete the pressure grew and Occupational Health recommended a permanent reduction in his working hours and responsibilities. This did not fit with the commercial interests of his firm and his role was terminated on ill-health grounds.
A claimant may be compensated for loss of earnings arising from an accident. Given my client’s impressive track record, the medical experts had no hesitation in supporting his claim for lost earnings caused by the accident. In the years following his accident my client did not qualify for a bonus as he usually did. His basic income had been reduced on a pro rata basis and following his termination he was set to lose his income entirely with limited possibility of finding similar work elsewhere.
The pleaded case included sums for my client’s case management and treatment but largely his claim was made up of lost earnings from the date of accident to his intended retirement age. A joint settlement was held, and it was agreed between the parties that my client should receive a substantial award in compensation. Following negotiations, the settlement sum was close to £1 million. This represented a very good outcome for my client who intended to take time off in pursuit of his hobbies and one day return to work in the charity or voluntary sector.
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