"Although he was physically injured to the extent that he had to use a walking stick to get around in the immediate aftermath and rely on his family to help with household chores, the most serious of his injuries was in fact a psychological one."
James said that the death of the other driver in the collision had a devastating impact on him. "In the days and weeks that followed he began to be plagued by intense and severe flashbacks, culminating in suicidal thoughts," he said. "He was clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but, as his condition was undiagnosed, he turned to drink in an effort to try to cope."
The defendants in the case - the other driver's insurer - admitted liability for the incident and so James was able to secure several interim payments to help his client meet his living costs, which were mounting up as he was unable to work. "Those payments also helped fund treatments including rehabilitation and therapy to help him come to terms with what had happened and help him reduce his excessive alcohol use," said James.
When the defendants initially offered to settle the case for £100,000, James entered into negotiations before settling the claim on his client's behalf for £220,000."The size of the settlement is based not on the physical injuries my client sustained in the collision, but the lasting effect the psychological impact of the incident has had on his ability to earn a living," said James. "Psychological injuries are too often dismissed by wider society as something to 'get over', but they are a medical injury and, much in the same way as a broken arm or leg, they take a great deal of time and medical assistance to heal. "Although clearly it will take a long time for him to recover from this ordeal, I am pleased that the settlement now affords my client the time he needs and removes any concerns over meeting his future financial obligations."