A settlement of £828,000, after allowing for 20 per cent contributory negligence.

The client, a 42-year-old woman, sustained multiple injuries in a road traffic accident in 2004. She underwent a below-knee amputation and was left significantly disabled, with limited mobility. She also suffered ongoing phantom limb pain and associated psychiatric injuries.

Before the accident, she had been studying to become a mental health nurse but did not continue with that after the accident. It was accepted that, but for the accident, she would have qualified and pursued a successful career as a mental health nurse.

She alleged that, due to her ongoing pain, mobility problems and psychiatric symptoms her residual earning capacity was minimal.

The gross amount of the settlement was £1,035,000, reduced to £828,000 for contributory negligence. The full liability valuations were, approximately:
Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £120,000
Future loss of earnings and pension: £320,000
Future care costs, medical treatment etc: £147,000
Future cost of prosthetics: £175,000
Future accommodation: £160,000
Past loss of earnings, etc £115,000

Credit hire for wealthy clients

Darren Bent did not appear in the World Cup, but he has been appeared in the Court of Appeal.

While the actual appeal was concerned largely with the judge’s approach to the evidence, the case is a reminder that, where a client of some significant means has a road traffic accident caused by the negligence of the other driver and hires a replacement car while his own car is off the road, then the assessment of the recoverable cost should be by reference to the “spot hire” rate (the rate at which a broadly similar car could be hired on the open market), rather than at the more expensive credit hire rate.

This follows from the claimant’s obligation to mitigate his loss so that he cannot recover the credit charges where he can easily afford to hire a car without a credit charge. For the most part this is not a matter that will need to concern the vast majority of our clients.

Bent -v- Highways & Utilities Construction Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 292