May 18, 2013
A man who was left in a coma after being hit by a car in Rome has had a settlement of injury compensation for a car accident abroad approved in court.
James Kennedy (now 37 years of age) was on vacation in Rome with friends when, on 14 January 2006, the recruitment consultant from Gosforth in Newcastle was hit by a car while trying to cross the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele in Rome´s ‘Eternal City’.
James was taken to the city´s Santo Spirito Hospital, where he remained in a coma for ten months suffering from catastrophic brain injuries and multiple fractures. Although now considered by his doctors to be ‘mentally acute’, James´ physical injuries mean that he is confined to a wheelchair and he also suffers from poor memory and a lack of concentration due to the brain damage he sustained in the accident.
Because of his inability to focus for long periods of time, James made a person injury claim for a car accident abroad through his mother Elaine against the driver of the vehicle – Father John Cole of Merthyr Tydfil.
Father Cole´s insurance company initially contested the claim on the grounds that James had been wearing dark clothing on the night of the accident and had ‘kept no proper lookout’ before stepping out into the street.
A negotiated agreement was reached in October 2009, in which the insurance company accepted 80 percent liability for James´ injuries and the person injury claim for a car accident abroad was adjourned for the assessment of damages.
An interim payment of injury compensation for a car accident abroad was paid to James earlier this year to enable him to move into a more suitable home and, at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Bean approved a final settlement of a £3 million lump sum and index-linked, tax-free payments of £210,000 every year to pay for the cost of the care and support James will need for the rest of his life.
The judge ordered that the settlement of injury compensation for a car accident abroad be managed by the Court of Protection and commented that James risked having a bigger percentage deducted from the settlement for his contributory negligence had the case been resolved by a trial.