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Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP help injured teenager win over £8.5 million compensation


A student, who was run over in September 2003 and left for dead, has been awarded over £8.5 million in compensation by the High Court. Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP represented Adam Wakeling who was 17-years-old at the time of the accident.

Adam was cycling home from his girlfriend’s house in Hackney, when he was run over by Michael McDonagh, an uninsured driver. McDonagh was speeding and under the influence of crack cocaine. He did not stop, but drove away after hitting Adam and later abandoned the car.

As a result of the extensive injuries received as a result of the traffic accident, Adam now needs 24-hour care. The plaintiff suffered significant brain damage, spinal injuries, which has lead to the loss of functionality in his lower limbs and right arm, and an inability to communicate verbally.

Paul McNeil, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Field Fisher Waterhouse, acted on Adams behalf to bring the claim against Michael McDonagh and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) before the High Court.

The action was taken against Michael McDonagh and the MIB as the official body set up to compensate victims of negligent and uninsured motorists, and who therefore assumed responsibility for the claim.

The MIB sought to contest the overall level of compensation being claimed for Adam on two grounds. Firstly, that the accident was partly Adam’s fault and so the total amount of compensation should be reduced by 25% due to contributory negligence. Secondly, that Adam did not need as much care as was requested and so the compensation should be reduced accordingly.

The High Court found in favour of the plaintiff on both accounts, and the judge awarded compensation against the MIB based on the level of care recommended.


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