The Court of Appeal has ruled that a man who suffered serious injuries after being hit by a car in Spain is entitled to the same level of compensation that he would have received had the accident happened in the UK.
Clint Jacobs was on holiday in Marbella when he was hit by a car that was out of control. He and his partner were in a car park, standing by their hire car, when they heard the screech of tyres and saw the car crash into several other vehicles before careering towards them. Mr Jacobs managed to push his partner to safety but he was knocked down.
In the accident, Mr Jacobs suffered severe injuries to his right leg, which was broken in 25 places, and his ankle was completely dislocated. He also suffered a blow to the head, a broken pelvis and bad bruising to his back and arms. After receiving treatment in Spain, Mr Jacobs returned home to Bristol, where he underwent numerous further operations and months of rehabilitation. During this time, his construction company went out of business.
A claim was made to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), an organisation set up for the purpose of compensating the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists. The MIB agreed to pay Mr Jacobs compensation, but only in the sum payable in the country in which the accident happened. The High Court supported this decision.
Mr Jacobs appealed and the Court of Appeal has now overturned the decision. It held that Mr Jacobs was entitled to damages based on British compensation levels, which include, where appropriate, amounts to cover loss of future earnings and the psychological effect of the injuries.