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Significant amount of compensation for psychiatric injury

Six figure sum awarded to man injured in a car crash

Posted on 15 September 2011

Road collision solicitor and member of the personal injury team at Leigh Day, Christine Tallon, has secured compensation in excess of £500,000 for a client who suffered severe psychiatric injury following his involvement in a road traffic accident which occurred in 2006.  Christine took over the case from another firm of solicitors in mid-2008.

Our client had been driving his car when a vehicle emerged from a side road and pushed him into a head-on collision with another vehicle. 

While our client sustained relatively minor physical injuries in the form on a whiplash type injury and lower back injury, his continuing symptoms resulted in his increasing frustration leading to depression and the development of severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which ultimately resulted in the breakdown of his relationship, loss of his job and eventual homelessness.  The schedule of loss was therefore significant as it was alleged on behalf of our client that he was unable to work because of his psychiatric injury, and would be unable to return to work for the foreseeable future.  Our client received cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing treatment (EMDR) and it was anticipated that treatment would be required for the foreseeable future.

There was considerable disagreement between the parties’ respective psychiatric experts as to the cause of his psychiatric symptoms.  This was a complex case which hinged entirely on the psychiatric evidence.

Following a round table meeting and various subsequent exchanges of offers the matter was settled one week before the start of a four day trial. 

Christine commented:

“This was a difficult case because our client’s psychiatric state sometimes made it difficult to obtain instructions.  There was also considerable concern about his mental state, particularly during the period when he was homeless.  The case was difficult in the sense that the court is sometimes reluctant to accept that such severe psychiatric injury can be linked to an accident in the absence of more serious physical injury to explain the psychiatric symptoms.  We had a very good psychiatric expert on board who was thorough, stood by his opinion throughout and was happy to go to court.  I am pleased with the outcome and pleased that our client has experienced significant psychological improvement.  I wish him every success in the future."

Christine’s client commented:

“Christine Tallon is an exceptional solicitor. She is extremely bright and has a rare blend of analytical and interpersonal skills. Choosing Leigh Day & Co meant I could focus on what's most important: my recovery and getting my life back on track. I cannot recommend Leigh Day & Co more highly.”