Injured teenager wins over £8.5M compensation from the MIB
A student, who was run over in September 2003 and left for dead, has been awarded over £8.5 million in compensation by the High Court. Fieldfisher represented Adam Wakeling who was 17-years-old at the time of the accident.
Adam was cycling home from his girlfriend’s house in Hackney, when he was run over by Michael McDonagh, an uninsured driver. McDonagh was speeding and under the influence of crack cocaine. He did not stop, but drove away after hitting Adam and later abandoned the car.
As a result of the accident, Adam needs 24-hour care. He suffered significant brain damage, spinal injuries, and has lost functionality in his lower limbs and right arm. Adam can no longer communicate verbally.
Paul McNeil, a personal injury lawyer at Fieldfisher, acted for Adam. He brought the claim against Michael McDonagh and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). The MIB compensates victims of negligent and uninsured motorists, so assumed responsibility for this claim.
The MIB contested the level of compensation sought for Adam on two grounds. Firstly, that the accident was partly Adam’s fault and so the total amount of compensation should be reduced by 25% due to contributory negligence. Secondly, that Adam did not need as much care as was requested and so the compensation should be reduced accordingly.
The MIB lost on both counts and the judge awarded compensation based on the level of care recommended.
Paul McNeil said: “Adam was a bright young student who was expected to excel in his A-level exams. We are happy to have recovered a level of compensation that will mean that he receives the care he needs, to have the best possible quality of life he can following this devastating accident.”
Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC and Henry Witcomb of One Crown Office Row were counsel for Adam.
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