We have acted for many clients who have suffered head injuries in road traffic accidents, which have resulted in loss of memory of how the accident actually occurred. This poses complications for proving a client’s case on liability as he or she would not be able to give evidence to the court verbally stating how the accident occurred if was liability was disputed by a third party or their insurers. This does not mean we cannot prove a client’s case but it does pose evidential difficulties as we shall outline.
Mr Howe was travelling in a bus lane on his motorbike in Lambeth intending on turning left up a side road ahead when the third party, who had been crawling in slow moving traffic in her motor vehicle, suddenly turned left out of traffic and collided with our client knocking him off his motorbike.
Mr Howe had no recollection of the actual mechanism of the accident since he sustained a head injury.
Medical evidence obtained from Mr D Ricketts (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon) and Dr M Mavra (Consultant Neurologist).
It was confirmed by the instructed medical experts that Mr Howe had sustained quite severe injuries to his collar bone and right shoulder which brought forward underlying conditions by 5 years. Mr Howe also sustained a mild traumatic brain injury in the accident with loss of consciousness, anterograde amnesia along with dizziness lasting for 6 months.
The third party and their insurance company strenuously disputed liability throughout alleging that our client was not allowed in the bus lane during operational hours and that their insured checked her mirrors and saw Mr Howe approaching from distance but he must have been travelling very fast and collided into the third party.
We secured a copy of the Collision Report from the Met Police which confirmed that there were no independent witnesses, our client was not able to give a statement to the police and the report contained only the third party’s version of events. . Since our client could not remember what had happened, the third party insurers argued he did not have prospects of winning at trial. We disagreed and issued court proceedings on behalf of our client.
We were able to prove that Mr Howe was entitled to travel in the bus lane during operational hours because he was intending on turning left at the next side street.
The Defendant made an early 50/50 split liability offer in settlement, however, Mr Howe rejected the third party’s offer following our advice that he had prospects of 100% recovery at trial.
It was only when witness statements had been exchanged and the court set a trial date that the Defendant started making settlement offers on a 100% basis. Mr Howe’s claim for damages eventually settled for £15,000.00.