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Millions in compensation for seven-year-old boy hit by car

Otis* sustained a brain injury after a car struck him whilst he was playing with friends.

In October 2006, seven-year-old Otis suffered a traumatic brain injury after being struck by the Defendant’s car as he ran into the road to retrieve a football. The accident occurred in a residential area where it was likely children would be playing. The driver was speeding and was using the road as short cut.

Initially, liability was strongly contested but was ultimately conceded prior to Trial with Judgment being entered for 100% of an amount of damages to be assessed by the Court.

Otis’ age at the date of the accident was likely to increase his vulnerability to the effects of brain damage and it was anticipated he would not make a complete recovery from the brain injury he suffered. However, Otis himself was reluctant to accept his disabilities, claiming to be little different to any other young man of his age.

We worked with Otis and his family to implement a system of rehabilitation and support aimed not only at improving his quality of life, but also at obtaining evidence of the client’s need for services and support both now and in the future.

At the same time, we gathered lay and expert evidence that demonstrated significant functional, cognitive and behavioural problems which affected Otis’ prospects for employment, his ability to manage everyday life and his ability to manage his financial affairs and confirmed our impression that Otis required rather more support than he would admit.

In March 2021, we were able to eventually settle the claim for the sum of £6.5 million.

Alison Hartley, Partner within our Serious Injury team, acted for Otis and said:

This very sad case demonstrates the importance of persistent and prolonged observation of a young client’s circumstances and the need to look beyond the picture the client wishes to paint of him/herself and his abilities in order to achieve the correct result.

Careful attention to the evidence was the key to achieving a pleasing outcome that will ensure Otis has ongoing access to the support he requires to provide him with the quality of life he deserves.

*The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Author bio

Alison Hartley


Alison Hartley has extensive experience of dealing with Claimant catastrophic brain injury claims in a career that has spanned more than 3 decades. She has a particular interest in child brain injury claims and the under settlement of high value personal injury claims. She has also successfully represented dependents bringing claims under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and victims of crime pursuing claims under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority procedure.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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