While it has been nearly a decade since it was closed, one injured woman’s motorcycle accident claim was recently reopened after the Court of Appeal found faults in her original legal proceeding.
Personal injury compensation experts writing for the Rutland & Stanford Mercury newspaper say that the initial accident that left Joanne Dunhill with severe brain damage, which occurred in June of 1999 when she was knocked down at a Doncaster roundabout, have left it necessary for her to live in a care home. The original personal injury claims were heard in 2003, leading to a settlement of £12,500 for Ms Dunhill, yet the Court of Appeal said that the injured woman could expect to receive as much as £800,000 in compensation if the same case was brought to court today – and some judges estimated she could earn £2 million or more.
The reason that the case has been reopened is that there had no one who had considered if Ms Dunhill could legally bee considered a patient during the 2003 case. Lord Justice Ward said in a statement that the injured woman may have been entitled for someone to conduct the proceedings on her behalf, as she might have been suffering from a diminished capacity to make legal decisions, and if this had been taken into account, the small sum that the claimant received might have been a much more substantial one instead.
With Ms Dunhill being recognised as a patient, courts would have never approved the settlement she entered into, the judge added, remarking that the litigation would have been conducted differently if it had been conducted in a proper manner.