When a victim of negligence is already disabled or in poor health, it can be difficult to distinguish the consequences of an accident from pre-existing problems. However, in one case, a sick and incapacitated man whose suffering was worsened by a traffic collision has been awarded substantial damages by the High Court.
The man suffered from numerous health problems and disabilities before the crash, including a chronic bad back which greatly restricted his ability to get about. He also suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure and had suffered a heart attack. His condition was further complicated when he was diagnosed with throat cancer two months after the accident.
The Court nevertheless found that the accident, which involved a very severe impact, had further reduced his quality of life. He had endured severe neck pain in the aftermath, and injuries to his shoulder, chest, hip and right ear were all caused by the collision.
Motor insurers admitted full liability for the accident and the man's damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity were assessed at £42,500.