UK solicitor sets out how much compensation you can claim for a road traffic accident when your car is stationary at traffic lights and is hit from behind causing injuries such as whiplash, depression and post traumatic stress disorder
Car accident victim question
I was stationary at a set of traffic lights in Islington in London when all of a sudden I was hit from behind by a car jolting my vehicle forwards violently. My body was thrown forward and backwards I immediately felt a pain in my neck and hard a cracking sound.
Some witnesses called an ambulance and the driver of the other vehicle came to the door of my car and apologised explaining that he was distracted using a radio and had not noticed the lights were on red nor the presence of my stationary vehicle.
I was taken to hospital and x-rayed and I was diagnosed with a cracked vertebra in my cervical spine. The accident happened two months ago and the vertebra is yet to heal and I am in severe pain, which is hampering my ability to do the sports that I love and to go to work. This has caused me a great deal of anxiety and depression. In addition I am having regular flash backs and I have attended with my GP who suspects that I might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder / PTSD.
I would like to make a claim for my injuries and the damage to my vehicle and I would like to know how much I can claim for my whiplash, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder?
Road Traffic accident solicitor response
From the facts as you have described them it is very clear that the car driver that hit you from behind whilst you were stationary at the lights was at fault. Not only did the driver apologise, but clearly he was not taking proper notice of other vehicles on the road.
You indicated that an ambulance was called by witnesses so clearly there is witness evidence to support your account of events and in any event the damage to your car and the other driver’s vehicle will evidence how the accident occurred.
You have indicated that you have suffered a cracked vertebra in your cervical spine and whiplash together with physiological conditions such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
Your claim will run in to several thousands of pounds for these injuries, but an accurate estimate of how much compensation you are entitled to recover would depend on expert medical evidence.
You need a specialist road traffic accident solicitor to instruct an orthopaedic consultant surgeon on your behalf to compile a medical report on the whiplash injuries and the cracked vertebra in your cervical spine. The cracked vertebra is a serious injury and may take some time for you to recover from. It could also lead to a permanent disability in your neck.
The orthopaedic consultant will set out in his report the exact nature of the injuries you have suffered together with a prognosis as to what the future holds for your recovery from the cracked vertebra and the soft tissue whiplash symptoms.
In addition you have suffered various psychological injuries. You have indicated that your GP has suggested that you might be suffering from post traumatic stress, but this is very different and being diagnosed with an actual condition by a consultant psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. For you to claim a significant amount of compensation for psychological injury your solicitor will need to instruct either a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist to complete a report. Conditions such as clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder can be specifically diagnosed, but there are several criteria that must be present for you to be suffering from these conditions. The psychological medical expert will therefore determine the exact conditions you are suffering from and likely recovery period together with the possibility of any long term problems.
Until the medical evidence is obtained from both the orthopaedic and the psychological expert it is very difficult to estimate the exact amount of money that you will be entitled to claim. However, if you are diagnosed with clinical depression and post traumatic stress disorder those conditions in themselves would be worth many thousands of pounds together with the compensation for the cracked vertebra in the cervical spine and your whiplash.
When an accident victim suffers multiple injuries your solicitor will need to find case law from accidents in the past decided by the courts with similar multiple injuries to determine the exact amount of compensation that can be claimed. It is not the case that each individual injury is valued separately and the total made from an addition of all the sums. Instead the court would look at the worst injury and consider the scale of values this could be worth – all the other injuries would be assessed to push the valuation of the worst injury to the highest part of the scale possible.
In addition you would clearly be entitled to all of the financial losses you have incurred including the damage to your vehicle, lost income, future lost income (should you not be able to work in the same capacity as prior to the accident), medical expenses, care expenses in the home, etc.
Road accident compensation amounts for psychological injury
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