When a mother or father dies as a result of negligence, the law does not leave their dependent loved ones to sink or swim. In one case, the widow and two children of a property developer who died two years after being gravely injured in a road accident secured more than £470,000 in compensation.
The father suffered multiple injuries, including severe damage to his right leg, when he came off his motorbike. Despite intense medical efforts to save the stricken limb, he underwent amputation surgery two years later. Complications arose during the operation and he died at the age of just 46. Left to grieve were his widow and his children, a son aged 18 and a daughter aged 12.
The family claimed that the accident was caused by the negligence of a van driver. That was disputed but, following negotiations, the motor insurers agreed to settle the case on the basis of 70 per cent liability. The agreed damages came to £474,334, of which £3,500 will be set aside for the daughter as compensation for the loss of her father's love and affection. The High Court approved the settlement.