Car whiplash injury

Compensation recovered for sexual dysfunction following severe whiplash injury

We acted for Mr G who previously rode horses professionally who, following a series of falls, required anterior spinal decompression at C5/C6 in July 2011.  He woke from the surgery with significant weakness down his right side, attributed to myelomalacia, together with some erectile dysfunction and difficulties ejaculating.  He developed anxiety relating to concerns over his health and the possible loss of his career.

He worked hard at his rehabilitation and his condition improved such that, in 2013, he returned to professional riding.  However, shortly after returning, his treating neurologist advised that continuing to ride competitively would be unwise, leading to his retirement.

His sexual dysfunction and anxiety gradually improved and had resolved by the end of 2013/early 2014.  He was symptom free thereafter.

On 3 January 2016 Mr G was driving his car when another vehicle, which was driving at speed, crossed the central line in the road and collided with his front driver’s side.  As a result of that collision he suffered a whiplash type injury resulting in cordal contusion, right upper and lower limb motor weakness and dysaesthesias.  The limb weakness and dysaesthesias gradually improved and had largely resolved after about 12 months.  However, he was left with urogenic bladder dysfunction (namely nocturia) and, more significantly, he has been unable to ejaculate or orgasm since the accident.

We were instructed and the defendant promptly admitted liability for the accident, but his legal representatives denied that the accident caused the symptoms reported by Mr G.  We obtained reports from a psychiatrist, neurologist, neurosurgeon and neuro-urologist.  Mr G’s symptoms were quite unusual in that the index accident had not affected his erection.

Mr G was significantly concerned by his sexual and reproduction dysfunction post index accident as he and his partner had intended to have children.

The report of the psychiatrist found that Mr G had suffered a relapse of mixed anxiety and depressive disorder from which he had almost completely recovered prior to the index accident.  He had some symptoms of PTSD, but not so as to justify a PTSD diagnosis.  The claimant’s neurological experts considered that, on the balance of probabilities, the whiplash injury to the neck caused a mild degree of further damage to the nerves in that already vulnerable region, sufficient to cause the bladder, ejaculatory and orgasmic dysfunction.

Whilst causation remained denied, we disclosed our evidence and offered £85,000 in full and final settlement of the claim.   That sum included money to fund private fertility treatment to enable the claimant and his partner to undergo IVF.

The defendant accepted that offer and the case settled for £85,000.

Oliver Chapman specialises in road traffic accident cases.  If you would like to ask him a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact Oliver at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701234 in confidence.

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