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It often takes years for the consequences of a moment's negligence to fully emerge. In one case that proved the point, a motorcyclist whose condition badly deteriorated two years after he was injured in a road accident has been awarded millions of pounds in compensation.
The man suffered serious head injuries and brain damage in a collision with a car that was not his fault. His disabilities were such that, with modest support, he could be cared for at home by his wife. However, the unexpected worsening of his condition further reduced his mobility and level of intellectual functioning so that his dependence on professional care was greatly increased.
Insurers for the motorist involved swiftly admitted liability in full and medical experts were unanimous that the deterioration in the man's condition was related to the accident. In those circumstances, the insurers agreed to a settlement of the man's claim that comprised a £2.5 million lump sum and index-linked, tax-free payments of £195,000 per year to cover the costs of his care for life. The High Court approved the settlement and agreed that £90,000 should be paid to the man's wife as some recognition of the care that she has given him since the accident.