No win no fee Derby claim

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Case Study

The road traffic accident occurred on 1 November 1998, when the claimant sustained a soft tissue neck injury. The day after the accident he developed neck pain that, although it diminished in frequency and intensity over time, was still being experienced on an intermittent basis two-and-a-half years after the accident. He continued to have spasms of short-lived but sometimes severe neck pain. Agreed medical evidence was that his symptoms had plateaued and would not improve further. However, he had had a degree of asymptomatic cervical spondylosis prior to the accident and that was responsible for 20% of his current symptoms, with the accident being responsible for the other 80%. The frightening nature of the accident had significantly reduced the claimant’s enjoyment of driving, particularly on motorways. This had in part been responsible for him giving up his hobby of caravanning. The judge commented that quantum reports from cases involving young claimants were of limited assistance in assessing an award for a man of the claimant’s age. General damages £5,543.62.

Case Study 2

The claimant sustained a minor whiplash injury to her neck in a road traffic accident on 23 February 2000. She struck her head on the vehicle’s head restraint. She suffered no initial pain but two hours after the accident she began to develop a headache and stiffness in the back of her neck. She did not visit hospital or her GP. She worked as a book-keeper, which involved using a computer. She had no time off work. After the accident she began to suffer intermittently from bad headaches lasting two to three days. On medico-legal examination by GP six months after the accident she was found to be tender in the muscles supporting left and right posterior lateral region of her neck. Physiotherapy was suggested but not taken up. Six months after the accident stiffness and headaches began to get less frequent. The claimant treated herself with paracetamol. No other treatment was given, she had no time off work and made no further visits to her GP. Following the accident she had abandoned her hobby of amateur singing, but the court held that by the time of trial, 13 months after the accident, there was no medical reason why she could not return to this pastime. She still suffered occasional stiffness in the neck and occasional headaches. She was likely to recover in full shortly. General damages £3,118.28.

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