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Caroline Spencer v Miss E Baron ? Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 4 February 2008


Action for Damages – Solatium - Road traffic accident – Causation - Pursuer having suffered whiplash type injury, although vehicles she was in
The Pursuer was a passenger in a private hire vehicle, which was stationery at a junction when it was struck on the rear bumper by the Defender's vehicle. There was no damage to the private hire vehicle. The Pursuer sought solatium for a whiplash injury sustained as a result of the collision. The Defender accepted that the accident had been her fault, but argued that the collision had been so minor that it could not have caused any injury to the Pursuer. There was evidence that, at the time of the collision, the Defender's vehicle had been travelling at less than 5mph. The Sheriff decided that, although there had been no damage to the private hire vehicle, on the balance of probabilities, the contact between the vehicles had been sufficient to cause injury to the Pursuer's neck. The Sheriff found the Pursuer to be a credible witness. The consultant who had examined the Pursuer, and gave evidence on her behalf, found evidence of injury. Following the accident the Pursuer had felt stiffness in her neck and a tingling sensation down her left arm. This did not settle down and she saw her GP about 11 days after the accident. He prescribed ibuprofen and referred the Pursuer to a physiotherapist, although she did not attend as she thought that her injuries were manageable. She had recovered substantially after 6 months, although she continued to experience tingling in her left arm. The Pursuer returned to work after a week's holiday following the accident. She resumed her hobby of running after 2 weeks and was not restricted in any other activity. The Pursuer was awarded £3,500 as solatium, with interest at the rate of 4% per annum from the date of the accident.