In a landmark judgment, which saw an award of almost £7 million for a UK citizen injured in a quad bike accident, an Australian court applied the Court of Appeal decision in Peters v East Midlands SHA* to its assessment of future care costs.
Peter Rigby, our Serious Injury Lawyer, who has been supporting the Raper family in the UK since 2012, believes the court’s ruling could be persuasive precedent for UK citizens trying to claim future care costs in overseas territories.
Peter says: “The judgement in Peters v East Midlands SHA helped resolve a long running issue of a claimants right to pursue a defendant for the costs of future care, even if those costs could be reasonably obtained from publically-funded support (e.g. statutory funding or NHS/Local Authority care).”
In his judgement, Escourt J ruled that the decision in Peters should apply in this case. He noted that privately funded care would have significant advantages over publically funded care for the claimant. He also noted that the claimant’s parents had already showed a clear preference and commitment to providing privately funded care for their daughter.
The judge also stated, “it is beyond argument that the availability of NHS benefits is not to be brought into account in diminution of the plaintiff’s damages for future care.” Also that ““the right to ‘self-fund’ was expressly acknowledged by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in the Peters case.”
Peter comments: “For this principle to be applied by an overseas court to a case involving a UK citizen, suggests that this is the correct way for quantum to be assessed for injured parties resident in England and Wales, even when their accident occurred outside the jurisdiction where the facts of the case fit the Peters precedent.
However, on the issue of mitigating loss for areas such as medical equipment and medication, the court ruled that the claimants were under a duty to use the publically-funded support to which they are entitled. This meant that the claim for items covered by prescriptions failed and there was also a significant reduction to future transport claims, where they were covered by the Motability scheme in the UK.
Click below to read the full judgement.