Mental Trauma Can Be Just as Bad as Physical Injury

Even if injuries suffered in road accidents are relatively slight, the consequences of trauma can be devastating. That was certainly so in one case concerning a senior IT manager who won a six-figure compensation award for the psychiatric consequences of a head-on collision.

The man had been hit by another driver who was travelling on the wrong side of a dual carriageway in an apparent attempt at self-harm. Miraculously, neither motorist was seriously physically injured in the crash. However, in the six years since, the man has suffered depression of quite exceptional severity. Despite extensive treatment, he has been unable to put the memory of the accident behind him and his career has been wrecked. His wife has also had to give up her job as a school librarian in order to care for him.

He commenced a personal injury claim and, after extensive negotiations, the other driver's insurers admitted liability for the accident and agreed to a settlement of his case. The exact amount of the compensation award was kept confidential, but it was a six-figure sum. In approving the settlement, a judge expressed the hope that it would enable the man's wife to relinquish, at least to some extent, her role as nurse and carer.

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