Swift -v- Carpenter; Court of Appeal Delivers Justice For Seriously Injured Claimants
On 9 October 2020 the Court of Appeal, in the case of Swift v Carpenter, handed down a long- awaited judgement on housing claims in personal injury cases. The original trial judge had awarded nothing to compensate the seriously injured claimant for the additional cost of her accommodation needs, but this was overturned on appeal. There was a difference of £900,000 between the value of the property which the claimant needed (because of her serious injuries/disabilities) and the property that she would have needed, but for her injuries. The Court of Appeal awarded 88% of the additional property needs, together with the full cost of adapting the property. This ensured that the claimant would not need to dip too deeply into other parts of her compensation to be able to fund the purchase of a new property.
This decision is a great victory for seriously injured accident victims, and justice has been done. For a number of years now, there has been huge uncertainty in this area, and claimants have been under-compensated. Those with serious, life changing injuries need the reassurance of knowing that they will have a roof over their heads which will provide them with an appropriate quality of life, having regard for the significant injuries they have suffered. Many of our clients have catastrophic, life changing injuries. For them, stairs are either impossible to manage are unsafe. In these cases a bungalow with plenty of space and features such as off road covered parking are essential and a two or three storey house would not be manageable.
The court has provided a timely reminder of the purpose of personal injury compensation; so far as it is possible to place the injured person back into the same position as if the accident/ injury had not occurred (impossible, of course, but the law has to do its best). Here in the UK, we have the principle of full compensation.
General, George Ide, News, Personal Injury Blog