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Angela RichardsAngela Richards recently acted for the widow of Mr E, who was killed following a road traffic accident in 2010.

The Accident

At the time of the accident, Mr E, who was in his 80s, was working as taxi driver in Wales. Prior to the accident, he was dropping off a passenger, when the Defendant driver collided with the rear of Mr E's vehicle at speed. Eye witness reports said that the collision caused the vehicles to raise in the air.

Mr E was taken to hospital, but discharged the same day with minor injuries. However, the following day, Mr E developed breathing difficulties. He was readmitted to hospital with a pneumothorax (a bubble on the lung) and a collapsed lung. He then developed a chest infection. Mr E deteriorated and died 19 days after the road traffic accident.

Liability

Mr E's family decided to bring a civil claim against the driver and instructed Angela Richards of our firm. Once the Defendant's insurers received notification of the claim, they accepted that the accident was their driver's fault, but they did not accept that the death of Mr E had been caused by the accident. They made an early offer of £5,000 to settle the whole claim.

It was the family's case that the accident had caused Mr E's death, as he had been fit and well prior to the accident and had not had any significant health problems.

Angela Richards issued Court proceedings against the Defendant driver. A short while after proceedings were issued, the Defendant driver's Solicitors conceded that Mr E's death had probably been caused by the accident and agreed to pay his widow compensation. This just left the value of the claim to be determined.

Prior to the accident, Mr E had cared for his wife, who had dementia, with his adult son. After the accident, Mr E ‘s son cared for his mother at home, but struggled to do so on his own and after some eight months or so post accident, she was admitted to a local care home. The largest element of the claim was the care home costs, as it was the family's case that if the accident hadn't have happened, Mr E would have continued caring for his wife at home with his son and Mrs E would not have gone into a care home.

As well as the claim for the care home fees, a sum was claimed for Mr E's pain, suffering and loss of amenity during his 19 days of survival, funeral costs, loss of earnings, vehicle damage, bereavement damages for Mrs E and loss of services from Mr E.

Settlement

After negotiations, Angela secured a settlement of £100,000 for Mr E's widow. As she does not have legal capacity, the settlement required the approval of the Court. The Judge considering the case stated that he was satisfied that a proper settlement had been reached and that he had no doubt that the settlement should be approved.

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