Multi-million pound compensation likely

A Shrewsbury man has won substantial damages this week, which are expected to be several million pounds, after being severely injured in an accident for which he was said to be 40% to blame. The High Court in London heard that 38-year-old Ian Groves, jumped on the bonnet of a moving car being driven by a friend after an argument. The driver, Jonathan Studley, was said to be ‘largely to blame’ for the accident because he drove with Mr Groves clinging to the bonnet and then swerved violently to get him off.

As a result, the 38-year-old has been left with catastrophic injuries which include difficulties with speech and cognitive skills, mobility problems and possibly epilepsy. Mr Groves will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life, the court was told. He was awarded 60% of what could be a multi-million pound compensation settlement.

Mr Studley received a 22 month jail sentence, after admitting numerous charges, including dangerous driving. The incident followed a dispute over a pair of trainers, the court heard. Mr Groves’ mother, June Groves, had sued Mr Studley for damages on her son’s behalf.

Fortunately, these kinds of accident are rare, although the man’s injuries are consistent with this type of road traffic incident. The level of compensation is high but not unprecedented and personal injury solicitors will not be surprised at the sums involved, given the severity of the injuries to the victim, even if he was partly to blame.

Serious accidents cost in the region of £20-£40 billion a year in the UK, although Britain can still boast one of the lowest accident rates worldwide. ‘Serious’ injuries are defined as such when the victim has to go to hospital as an in-patient, or suffers broken bones, severe burns, organ damage or concussion.

According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA ) around three million people get injured in the UK every year, 30,000 of which are deemed ‘life-changing’ injuries. Some 14,000 people are killed in accidents every year, with 5,000 occurring in the home. Half of all brain injuries, like the one described above, are caused by traffic accidents.

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