Tractor turns right across overtaking motorcyclist
A tractor turning right without indicating as a motorcyclist overtook had serious consequences.
The rider was knocked off his bike and then run over. Many fractures were suffered, together with a head injury. The accident brought to an end a promising military career, and in fact the combination of the physical disability, and more importantly, the head injury, made future employment unlikely.
Receipt of War Pension and an early interim payment allowed for suitable accommodation and transport. Family support was so important in this case.
A significant settlement allowed the purchase and adaptation of a home, and sensible advice meant long term income was protected.
Structured settlements, depending on the annuity rate current at the time of settlement, can produce long term security. All or part of the compensation fund can be used to purchase an income for life. It appears expensive, but when long term care and security is the priority a structured settlement can work well. The income from a structured settlement is received free of tax, and is not taken into account when means-tested State benefits are assessed. These two factors often mean it is a challenge to equal the income of a structured settlement using other investment strategies.
Although not available at the time this case was handled, periodical payments are now available. They are considered so important that in large compensation case you will have to persuade a Judge why periodical payments are not the answer. From the injured person’s point of view you might feel a long term relationship with the Defendant’s insurer is not ideal. You might prefer to be independent. The driving force behind the introduction of periodical payments is the high cost to the NHS of birth damage cases. It helps budgeting to spread the cost of multi million pound settlements over the lifetime of the injured child. The benefit for the claimant is that the periodical payments can go up if circumstances change, but of course down if costs reduce.
There are cases when structured settlements and periodical payments are the best solutions, but there are occasions when they are not. Experienced specialist advice is very necessary in a high value case.
Whilst on the question of compensation and long term needs, one subject to include is the Personal Injury Trust. The law allows compensation from a personal injury settlement or award to be paid into a Personal Injury Trust. The Trust fund and income is ignored when assessing means tested State benefits. Such a trust does not have to be complicated, and the injured person can have control of the fund. A Personal Injury Trust can also be useful when the injured person might need to be protected from investment risk, as others can be appointed as Trustee, and manage the Trust with a long term view. Remember, you only get one compensation award, and when it is spent there is no more, unless you were awarded provisional damages.
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