Record £11.5m Compensation Awarded to Car Crash Victim
Wasim Mohammed was looking forward to his 19th birthday when he was out for a drive with his friend in 2006. Exactly five days before he could celebrate his birthday, however, Mr Mohammed was involved in a tragic car accident that has left him with serious, life-changing injuries. The incident occurred when Mr Mohammed’s friend, who was driving the vehicle at the time, reached dangerously excessive speeds in restricted zones. Whilst attempting to overtake another vehicle, Mr Mohammed’s friend clipped another car that was turning into the junction. Unsurprisingly, the car in which Mr Mohammed was a passenger became immediately uncontrollable and subsequently ploughed into a wall.
The story thus far is the same as in most personal injury claims involving car accidents: a moment’s recklessness can lead to a lifetime of suffering. In many respects, Mr Mohammed’s survival was little short of miraculous; although, the now tetraplegic car crash victim is unable to move his legs and has very limited function in his arms. Whilst escaping death or permanent brain damage, the injuries sustained by Mr Mohammed have altered his life. A future that looked so bright ahead of his 19th birthday is now primarily a case of survival. Accordingly, solicitors acting on behalf of Mr Mohammed and his family sought compensation. In a landmark settlement made last week, Mr Mohammed was awarded £11.5 million in compensation – a record for UK personal injury claims.
As with most accident claims that involve serious or catastrophic injuries, Mr Mohammed’s legal representatives have sought the maximum compensation possible. Deciding precisely how much compensation should be awarded in such cases can prove very difficult; although, various factors including loss of earnings, change of living conditions and medical requirements will influence the sum awarded. In the present case, the figure of £11.5 million was agreed in an out-of-court-settlement, which is not unusual for claims of this nature. Indeed, it is often beneficial for all parties involved to reach such a deal without incurring any further legal costs or unnecessarily wasting time that would otherwise be spent on essential tasks such as modifying a home or arranging long-term care.
The £11.5 million awarded to Mr Mohammed is divided into an upfront payment of £4.25 million and annual payments of £235,000, which are primarily aimed to cover the costs of caring for Mr Mohammed; such is the extent of the 22-year-old accident victim’s injuries, constant care is required for even the most basic of tasks. Daniel Herman, the catastrophic injury specialist who represented Mr Mohammed, said: “I am pleased that Wasim has secured such a good settlement. Part of the settlement will go towards building Wasim a purpose-built house opposite his parents’ home”. Mr Mohammed has since purchased that home, which will be designed to accommodate his needs in order to improve his comfort and quality of life.
Mr Herman added: “He comes from a traditional Pakistani family where part of the culture is that the eldest son remains in the family home to look after his parents in old age. That is now impossible given the extent of his injuries and his care needs, so this allows him to do the next best thing”. Road traffic accidents in Britain are on the decrease; however, whilst death and serious injury are occurring with less frequency on the country’s roads, care must always be taken when driving. As Mr Mohammed pointed out, he would give up the whole £11.5 million for the chance to walk again.