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Injuries caused by the negligence of another person are not always purely physical, and those who are left with mental scars have no less entitlement to compensation. In one case, a woman who suffered a miscarriage and grave psychiatric consequences as a result of being involved in two road accidents in less than two years has been awarded more than £470,000 in damages.
The woman suffered soft tissue injuries in both collisions, from which she would have been expected to recover over time. However, the first accident resulted in the loss of the child that she was carrying. She suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, which was worsened by the second accident. She has since endured severe depression and is unlikely ever to return to her pre-injury level of functioning at work.
Insurers for the drivers involved in both accidents admitted liability but disputed the extent to which each collision had contributed to the woman's injuries. The case was further complicated by the fact that the first accident occurred in Poland and Polish law therefore applied to the assessment of damages in that case.
The court awarded £447,380 in damages in respect of the first collision. Unusually, that included £18,150 for IVF treatment on the basis that the woman remained desperate for a child and that motherhood was likely to alleviate her psychiatric symptoms. £25,080 was awarded in respect of the second accident.