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Man awarded £15,000 after traffic collision but has no memory of the incident

Client stories

When Mr Howe was knocked off his motorbike by a motorist, he sustained severe injuries and anterograde amnesia, which meant he had no memory of the collision.

Naturally, this posed complications for proving a case of liability as the victim would be unable to give evidence in court on how the incident played out if liability was disputed by the third party.

Never ones to shy away from a challenge, our road traffic accident claims team took it upon ourselves to ensure that Mr Howe got the fair and just compensation he deserved for his injuries, regardless of whether or not he could testify. We were glad to secure him a significant payout of £15,000 in this most curious case.

A motorcyclist with no memory

Mr Howe was travelling in a bus lane on his motorbike in Lambeth with the intention of turning left shortly up the road when a motorist turned her car out of slow moving traffic into the lane, colliding with him.

Mr Howe sustained a mild traumatic brain injury with a loss of consciousness, anterograde amnesia, and long term dizziness. He also had severe injuries to his collarbone and right shoulder which brought forward underlying conditions by five years. Genuinely traumatic injuries made all the worse by the fact that he could not remember the incident in which he sustained them.

How to prove liability when the victim can’t testify?

The mental state of the victim posed several challenges when trying to claim compensation for his injuries. Because he had lost all memory of the incident, he could not testify when charges were brought to the motorist and their insurers.

The defendant and their insurers strenuously disputed liability throughout proceedings, stating that our client shouldn’t have been in the bus lane in the first place and that he must have been travelling extremely quickly to catch up to where they were after pulling out.

Without victim testimony and no confirmed independent witnesses, we had a curious challenge on our hands. Because our client could not remember what had happened, the third party’s version of events seemed to be undisputed and their insurers argued that he did not have any prospects of winning at trial. We disagreed and issued court proceedings on behalf of our client.

After approaching the Met Police to secure the collision report, we were able to prove that Mr Howe was entitled to travel in the bus lane during the operational hours of the incident as he was intending on turning left at the next side street, dismantling the defendant’s main argument.

No testimony, no problem

After we were able to prove, purely through evidence, that Mr Howe was completely entitled to be where he was at the time of the collision, the case started to look a lot different to the third party’s insurers.

They made an early offer of a 50/50 liability split in the settlement. However, on our advice, Mr Howe turned that down as he now had more than a chance to win the full compensation. Only once witness statements were exchanged and a trial date set did the defendant make a settlement offer on a 100% basis. Eventually, damages were settled for £15,000 for Mr Howe.

Express Solicitors’ Daniel Jamieson relished the challenge of this case and thought the circumstances made the outcome all the more satisfying, “Mr Howe should not be denied justice for his injuries just because he was unable to remember them. Relying on hard evidence and maintaining an ironclad commitment to our case won the day.”

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