Young brain injury victim receives more than £5m compensation

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Young brain injury victim receives more than £5m compensation

21st October 2011

A 23-year-old man who was left in a coma for six weeks after the car he was a passenger in struck a parked vehicle has received £5.675m in damages.

Victoria Gofton, a serious injuries expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said her client was only a teenager when the car being driven by a friend was involved in the collision with a stationary removals lorry, more than six years ago.

“The driver of the car lost control after being apparently blinded by the sun as he drove over the crest of a hill,” said Victoria, an associate with the firm. “Although the driver escaped unscathed, my client suffered a permanent brain injury.”

Having suffered a catalogue of serious injuries including a fractured skull and severe haemorrhaging around his brain, the unconscious victim was rushed to hospital.

“When my client arrived at the hospital, he was unconscious and his left pupil was fixed and would not respond to light,” said Victoria. “He was immediately transferred to a brain injury unit where he underwent emergency craniotomy surgery – having part of his skull removed to relieve the pressure on his brain.”

After lying in a coma for six weeks, the man was transferred to a rehabilitation centre where he remained for three months before being discharged into the care of his parents. After a short time at home, he secured a place at a specialist residential brain injury centre where he underwent intensive neuro-rehabilitation treatment for another 15 months before returning home.

Following this, the young man began an independent living trial, at first moving into rented accommodation away from his parents with 24-hour support. This support was gradually reduced as the trial progressed successfully and presently, he continues to live independently from his parents, with significant support.

“The injuries my client sustained have dramatically altered his life and denied him the career he had always wanted,” said Victoria.  “My client sustained a very severe traumatic brain injury and has been left with considerable cognitive and behavioural problems. His memory and concentration have been severely affected and he struggles to focus his attention for any length of time. He has undergone a dramatic personality change and he remains disinhibited, socially vulnerable and unable to properly assess risks.

“Physically, his injury has hindered movement around his left side affecting both his left arm and leg,” added Victoria. “He now struggles with his balance and he experiences both sensory and motor problems that affect his ability to pick things up. He has good movement around his left hip and knee but less movement around his ankle and foot which has left him with a limp.

“In addition, my client has significant problems with his sight,” said Victoria. “The brain injury he suffered resulted in a left-sided hemianopia which took away half of his field of vision in both eyes. An injury of this sort is extremely difficult for a young man with a brain injury to manage. My client often experiences discomfort in crowds and as he is unaware of what he cannot see, he is inevitably prone to tripping or walking into people or objects on the left hand side of his field of vision.”

The defendant, who's insurers admitted liability, was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. He was banned from driving for six months, ordered to re-sit his test and fined £250.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of serious head and brain injuries.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.