With Action for Brain Injury Week just around the corner, it's time to shine a light on how life-changing brain injuries can be for victims. From 16th to 22nd May, charities, medical organisation's and legal teams will be raising awareness on behalf of brain injury victims, looking to reduce the stigma and improve outcomes for those affected.
Compensation is a vital tool to help victims fund the care they need to live with or rehabilitate their injuries and Gorvins has a rich history of helping brain-injured clients achieve this. In preparation for Action for Brain Injury Week, we wanted to share a recent case study that demonstrates the plight of those suffering from brain injuries, and the legal avenues open to them
At the time of the accident, the claimant (our client) was driving a 40-tonne articulated lorry along an A road. The defendant was the relevant Highway Authority, who under the Highways Act 1980, has a duty to maintain and repair the highway.
The A road had a single lane in each direction, and along both sides of the highway, there was a grass verge. There was a point at which the highway narrows and our client alleged that the width of the road presented significant difficulties when HGVs passed each other at this location. More specifically, the road is insufficiently wide to avoid contact between the wing mirrors of the vehicles in the middle of the road.
On the day in question, our client alleged that as he approached this narrow stretch of the A road, he met another HGV from the opposite direction, and both HGVs were required to move slightly to the nearside to allow each other to pass without colliding or hitting each other's wing-mirrors.
The narrowness of the road on the near side of our client's vehicle was such that, on moving slightly to the near side, their vehicle's wheels went into a ditch or soft grass verge area, and, although they were able to manoeuvre their vehicle to bring the cab out of the ditch, the trailer went into the ditch, causing them to lose control of their vehicle. The trailer then tipped over onto its side, dragging the cab with it.
The effects on our client
As a result of the accident, our client suffered head, chest and leg injuries and psychological trauma. Their medical expert diagnosed a severe traumatic brain injury, the consequences of which include an increased risk of developing post-traumatic epilepsy, Alzheimer's dementia and the possible development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
The results of the accident were far-reaching and as well as affecting their quality of life directly after, it also presented the possibility of further health worries further down the line. As such, it was vital that our client sought compensation for these life-changing injuries such that they could enjoy a better quality of life.
The legal claim
Our client alleged that the defendant was fully aware of the problems with the road, with many complaints being made to the defendant by residents within the area about the danger presented by the soft verge, the width of the road and the fact that there had been many previous accidents at the same location.
The defendant subsequently carried out work at the accident location by back-filling the verge to address the level difference and installing reflector marker posts to highlight the available width of the road, but no such safety features were in place at the date of our client's accident.
The defendant denied liability on the basis that the highway was sufficiently wide enough for two HGVs to pass safely and it was not aware of any previous accidents. The defendant sought to rely upon Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980.
Both parties were granted permission to rely on engineering evidence.
The results of our client's claim
Our client – the claimant, recovered significant damages from the defendant. These damages were a vital resource that allowed our client to fund the care and treatment they needed to achieve a better quality of life after the accident.
At Gorvins, we pride ourselves on our ability to help those who have suffered serious injuries as this case study illustrates. We're accredited by Headway as having appropriate expertise in the field of brain injury, assuring that we understand the challenges our brain-injured clients face and are best equipped to achieve the compensation they deserve.
If you've been a victim of an accident that has caused a brain injury, we can help you achieve the compensation you need for a better standard of life.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.