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Re A.Nelms Opinion £2_250

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					RE: A NELMS (A MINOR) _____________________________ ADVICE ON QUANTUM _____________________________

Introduction

1.

I am asked to advise the claimant Abigail Nelms as to the quantum of damages that she can expect to be awarded by the Court, in respect of personal injuries she sustained as the result of a road traffic accident on 9th February 2006.

2.

The accident occurred when Abigail (a thirteen year old school girl) was a front seat passenger involved in a rear shunt collision with another vehicle. Liability is not in dispute. I am obliged to those instructing me for enclosing the medical report of Dr. Rybinski dated 30th April 2006 which sets out the injuries suffered by Abigail, and the treatment and prognosis.

The Injuries

3.

Abigail suffered a whiplash type injury to her shoulder and back, soft tissue damage to her abdomen and lower chest, and associated travel anxiety and sleep disturbance. For a month immediately following the accident, Abigail was in considerable discomfort as a direct consequence of her injuries, and after this time the soft tissue damage cleared up satisfactorily. The prognosis of Dr. Rybinski is that any residual symptoms of neck and back pain will completely settle within seven to nine months of the collision. Similarly, associated symptoms of travel anxiety and disturbed sleep are

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expected to settle after a year post accident. There is no anticipation of future deterioration resulting from the accident and it is expected that she will make a full recovery.

Quantum

4.

Judicial Studies Board Guidelines: Abigail’s injury is a standard whiplash type injury to her neck and back, with residual symptoms that resolved within a year. This injury should place her somewhere within the 6(A)(c)(ii) Minor bracket of £750 to £2,500. Factors that can place a claimant’s injuries towards the top end of this bracket would be acute or multiple symptoms, serious loss of amenity, residual travel anxiety, and/or a protracted recovery period, some of which are present here.

5.

E (A Child) v Walton (2004): 17 year old trainee hairdresser suffered a whiplash injury as a result of a road traffic accident. Primary symptoms were neck pain and stiffness which was acute for ten days, intermittent for three months and completely resolved within nine months of her accident. Some minor travel anxiety also settled during this time period. She was awarded £1,800 (£1,950 Today).

6.

F (A Child) v Asghar (2001): Eleven year old school girl involved in a road traffic accident. She suffered a whiplash injury causing pain and stiffness in her neck, and associated situational anxiety. Symptoms were acute for two weeks, intermittent for six months and both neck pain and psychological trauma had wholly resolved within nine to twelve months. She received £2,150 (£2,450).

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7.

L (A Child) v Stewart (2005): Eleven year old schoolboy sustained a whiplash injury to his neck and soft tissue injuries to his back as a result of a road traffic accident. He experienced acute back pain and headaches for three weeks, intermittent discomfort for five months, and all residual symptoms settled completely within eight to eleven months of the accident. He received an award of £2,250 (£2,400).

Conclusion

8.

After a consideration of both the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines and the appropriate case law on this area, I am of the opinion that Abigail can expect to receive an award for general damages in the region of £2,250 subject to the Court’s discretion. Clearly, this level of award would be entirely contingent upon her successful recovery (with physiotherapy) in line with the prognosis of Dr. Rybinski.

9.

Should those instructing me have any further enquiries that they wish to raise, please do not hesitate to contact me on the number below.

JAMES NAZER 21.7.2006

In House Advocate Destiny Legal Services Seventh Floor Direct Dial 0161 836 6322 Extension 2722

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