Cyclist secures six-figure settlement following collision in Spain
A cyclist who was injured during a holiday in Gran Canaria has received a six-figure settlement.
Posted on 23 January 2023
The cyclist, who we will call Michael, was involved in a road traffic incident in 2018 when a negligent driver travelling in the opposite direction swerved into his lane of travel resulting in a head on collision propelling the cyclist through his windscreen.
Michael suffered a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury, lung contusion, fractured elbow, multiple soft tissue injuries, lacerations with permanent scarring, and psychological injury.
Due to a combination of the traumatic brain injury, and the psychological impact of the incident, Michael suffered cognitive difficulties including difficulty with memory and reduced performance in cognitive testing.
This incident occurred shortly after the client started a degree course, which he had to abandon as a result of his injuries. The Consultant Neuropsychologist instructed in the case agreed that, due to the disruption of his studies and the time lapsed, it was reasonable for the Michael not to return to his studies.
Fortunately, Michael responded well to neuropsychological treatment and the initial effects of dysphasia and lack of concentration are no longer likely to pose a barrier to him. Michael also recovered well from the physical injuries sustained and, at the time of settlement, he had largely returned to life as it was before the incident.
This case was brought before the UK left the European Union, so on Michael’s instruction, Leigh Day were able to sue the Spanish motor insurer of the negligent driver in the Court of England and Wales with no challenge to jurisdiction.
Liability was promptly admitted, and the case proceeded with the amount of compensation to be determined.
As the accident occurred in Spain, the substantive issues in the claim were governed by Spanish law (pursuant to Article 4(1) of the Rome II Regulation (EC) No 864/2007). Therefore, the losses that he was able to recover and the value for each of the losses he suffered, were subject to Spanish law.
Leigh Day secured a six-figure settlement on Michael’s behalf, and although not explicitly agreed by the Defendant, this included recovery of a subrogation claim on behalf of the client’s employer, and penalty interest under Spanish law.
“This incident affected the client in his professional capacity, family life, and in the enjoyment of his hobbies. Where the impact of an accident is felt throughout every corner of a person’s life, it is reminder of how crucial it is to ensure that every type of loss they have suffered is robustly pursued to ensure that a suitable settlement is reached.
“This case highlighted that although there were advantages to the case being brought under Spanish law, such as a more advantageous position on interest, there were other elements, such as the award for a future loss of earnings claim, that fell short of the award which would be permitted under English law.
“It is important to capitalise on the more advantageous heads of loss during settlement negotiations to ensure that a suitable settlement is reached, particularly when it concerns heads of loss which are currently subject to contentious litigation.”