The claimant suffered a brain injury of moderate severity in an RTA, at the age of 34. She suffered post traumatic amnesia. She was a woman of high intelligence with an IQ after the accident of 128 placing her in the top three per cent of her age group. She claimed she had lost the opportunity of a potentially glittering career in which she could earn millions of pounds.

Since the injury, she secured a high level corporate job with a high salary, but had subsequently been dismissed. She argued that, if she had not been injured, she would have had a still higher IQ and her memory would not have been reduced and she would have expected to earn a still higher salary.

It was held that the claimant’s loss of edge, resulting from the accident, had contributed to her dismissal. She was awarded £850,000 for loss of future earnings and £100,000 for past loss of earnings.

Van Wees -v- Karkour & Another (2007) EWHC 165(QB).

Assessment of care where wife moves abroad

The claimant suffered severe brain damage which caused behavioural and personality changes making him unable to look after himself so that he required life-long care and support. His wife was Australian and their son, who was born after the accident, was an Australian citizen. Although the claimant’s wife had stood by him following the accident, she eventually returned to live in Australia where the couple had always intended to settle.

The wife had no intention of returning to live in the UK, if, as was likely, the claimant was refused long term entry to Australia. The cost of care that was necessary for the claimant was dependant on whether his wife would give him some gratuitous care or whether he would require the level of care that was commensurate with his living alone.

The issue turned on the chance of a favourable decision on an application by the claimant to be accepted to live permanently in Australia. It was argued for the claimant, as a result of previous and ongoing use of cannabis, he would not pass the “character” hurdle for entering Australia nor would he pass the “health” hurdle since even the payment of substantial compensation that he could take with him would not necessarily be an answer to that requirement.

The court held that there was only a 20 per cent chance that his application to live in Australia would be successful. If it did succeed, he would then benefit from some gratuitous care that she would provide, but if he was to remain living alone in the UK he would need care which was assessed at £100,000 per annum.

Lindsay -v- Wood (2007). QBD, 1 March 2007.