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Yasmin: Road Traffic Accident

Yasmin's Story

Young child knocked down by car whilst running across the road.

Yasmin: Road Traffic Accident
Yasmin was almost 3 years of age at the time. She was hit by a car driven by the Defendant. The accident occurred when Yasmin ran into the road.

The Claimant sustained catastrophic injuries which rendered her paraplegic. She was wheelchair-bound and substantially reliant upon her family for care and assistance. She was doubly incontinent and relied upon an indwelling catheter and incontinence pads. She experienced pain in her right arm and back from time to time. She required assistance to turn in bed. Her problems were exacerbated by involuntary spasms which inevitably made transfer more difficult.

Liability was vigorously disputed for many years. Yasmin had run out into the road out from behind parked vehicles. Arguments were made over how far the claimant had crossed into the road, how long she was present on the road, how fast the Defendant was driving and his ability to react in time to take evasive action to avoid the impact.

The parties each obtained witness evidence and reconstruction expert evidence.Yasmin suffered injuries in the form of a type 3 fracture of the odontoid peg and spinal cord injury to T10. The fracture was stabilised with a halo device for 8 weeks but the T10 injury had caused paraplegia both motor and sensory below T10. Yasmin had considerable spasticity and spasms in both legs. She lacked sensation in her bladder and bowels and had back pain.

Yasmin had a 10% risk of syrinx formation the same being a serious deterioration should be addressed by way of provisional damages award.

Yasmin had ongoing tenderness in the region of the anterior capsule of her right shoulder joint. This was related to the effort of transfers and wheelchair use. She also suffered from back pain 1-2 times per week which was sometimes so severe she could not rise from her bed in the morning. MRI scanning was required to exclude further injury and a posture and seating assessment.

Yasmin has an indwelling urethral catheter which has to be emptied twice daily and she wore nappy pads for faecal matter. Yasmin had recurrent urinary tract infections (once per month on average) and took antibiotics. Yasmin had a risk of upper tract stones and a urologist report was needed. Yasmin needed admission to a spinal cord injury unit for assessment regarding her bowel care. Yasmin also needed correction of her contractures to be evaluated within the spinal cord injury centre.

Yasmin’s needs would be likely to increase as she became older. If she was able to master transfers she would still require hoisted transfers later in life. She had a reduced life expectancy of 60.

Periodical Payments

Yasmin’s primary claim was one for periodical payments for claims for cost of care and equipment. Yasmin had a life expectancy of almost 60 years. Yasmin’s care needs would continue for her life time and would increase at the age of 40. The cost of care would increase over her lifetime in excess of inflation.

Yasmin therefore sought periodical payments in respect of the future cost of care, additional accommodation expenses, equipment and transport. Yasmin sought a rate of annual increase in excess of the RPI, namely the ASHE rate.

The Claimant obtained expert medical evidence as follows:

  1. A leading consultant in spinal injuries
  2. Physiotherapist
  3. Consultant orthopaedic surgeon
  4. Care expert
  5. Locus plan expert
  6. Occupational therapist
  7. Accommodation expert
  8. Accident Reconstruction expert
  9. Rehabilitation Expert
  10. Urologist
The issues for the court at the CMC prior to Trial

  1. Whether there should be a split trial as to liability;
  2. Expert evidence

After many meetings and discussions the parties agreed to attend Joint Settlement Meetings. A number of settlement meetings took place before the parties reached a final amicable settlement.

Yasmin received £1.2 million pounds and was assisted with the purchase and adaptation of a new home.