Accident Victims - Negotiating Skills Vital

Hard-headed negotiating skills and perseverance are vital attributes for any lawyer. A recent personal injury case in which both were needed resulted in a motorcyclist who was catastrophically injured in a collision obtaining the right to a seven-figure sum in compensation.

The motorcyclist collided head-on with a car driven by a foreign businessman, who may have been distracted after returning from an overseas trip and was on the wrong side of the road. The motorcyclist suffered severe head injuries, resulting in traumatic brain damage, and multiple orthopaedic injuries. He was in a coma for two weeks and his girlfriend, who was riding pillion, was also very seriously injured.

The motorist was later jailed for two years after he admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, although that sentence was later reduced on appeal to four months. His insurers nevertheless argued that the motorcyclist was himself at fault and only accepted full liability for the accident following lengthy negotiations, during which the accident victim's representatives made no concessions.

The amount of the man's compensation has yet to be agreed or assessed by a judge but, given the severity of his injuries, his long life expectancy and the extent of his lost earnings and care needs, it is certain to be a seven-figure sum.

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