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Tubey v Fletcher, Derby County Court

20 November 2002
The issues

Minor injuries – neck – whiplash type injury.

The facts

The Claimant, a female Data Input Clerk aged 35 at the date of the road traffic accident and 37 at the date of the Hearing, banged her head on the windscreen causing bruising and severe headaches for a week. She attended hospital immediately after the collision, where she was given a collar which she wore for about 10 days. She was prescribed Ibuprofen, which she took in large doses for approximately 1 week. She was absent from work for 10 days.

The Claimant discovered 1 week after the accident that she was 14 weeks pregnant and she was extremely concerned that the painkillers she had taken following the accident may have harmed her baby.

She alleged that the circumstances had spoilt her pregnancy, which was her first pregnancy, and had affected her emotionally for the entire term. She was only relieved of her concerns following the birth of her baby, which proceeded without difficulty.

The Claimant’s pregnancy meant that she was unable to take painkillers for more than a week after the accident, which increased the level of the pain she suffered. Expert evidence suggested that the neck symptoms arising out of the accident would last approximately 8Ω months.

The decision

The Judge expressed that this was a classic whiplash injury that was aggravated by the effect that the taking of painkillers had on her pregnancy. He awarded £2,000.00 in relation to general damages.

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