Our Charles O’Brien secures substantial sum for severely brain injured client
Good evidence and advice from expert specialists proved the key to success for our Charles O’Brien in a recent complex personal injury case in which he secured a substantial sum for a client who suffered a severe brain injury.
This was a complicated case because our client had pre-existing brain damage which meant they were not able to work before the accident and lived in supported accommodation. However as a result of the accident they were rendered bed-bound, unable to feed themselves and minimally responsive; as a protected party, any settlement would ultimately need to be approved by the court.
The defendant insurer denied liability throughout the litigation and refused to pay for rehabilitation or make an interim payment to allow the client to move to a more suitable home. Liability was denied on the basis that our client was walking on a main road in an unlit area rather than on the pavement away from the road and in the direction of the traffic, had been drinking prior to the collision, and was wearing dark clothing.
Our client, who was a pedestrian, had no recollection of the collision and so a vital first-hand account of what happened was available only from the defendant driver who caused the collision. Both parties obtained expert reconstruction evidence and came to opposing views as to who was responsible.
The court ordered a split trial so to allow the issues of liability and quantum to be tried separately and, four years after the collision, the defendant indicated willingness to negotiate a settlement. Reports were obtained from a neuro-rehabilitation expert, an accommodation expert, a care expert, a Court of Protection expert, an independent financial adviser, and a social housing expert. The social housing expert was absolutely key because the claim for our client’s damages was to a very great extent dependent on the level of contribution that could be secured from the local authority and therefore how much would be needed from the defendant’s insurer in order to keep the client at the home of choice.
This case demonstrated the need, especially in complex cases, to get good evidence and to source very specialist experts for key areas of the litigation to support a client’s claim and ensure their best interests are pursued.George Ide