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Crash Victim Sues Motorist for £2 million

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A Norfolk motorist is being sued by a high-flying executive, claiming the injuries sustained in a crash have ruined his career.

Peter Siegel, aged 44, from Birmingham is suing Lester Pummell of Brundall for compensation of £2 million.

The accident happened in Carrow Road, Norwich in November 2009 when Mr Pummell rear-end shunted Mr Siegel’s vehicle.  The collision occurred at a speed of 30mph and Mr Siegel’s car was written off.

Mr Siegel claims that in the five years since the incident, his life has been severely affected by nightmares and cognitive, physical and behavioural deficits.  He told the Judge Wilkie and the High Court in London that he had been dogged by post traumatic stress disorder, his personality and behaviour had changed and he was prone to violent temper outbursts.  He is supported in his claim for severe closed brain injury by his solicitor Marcus Grant.

Before the accident, Mr Siegel was a senior executive at Hewlett Packard, the IT giant. He was highly intelligent, loved work and thrived on the stressful competitive environment. After the accident, his career nose-dived and he struggled to survive in the IT sector. Mr Siegel lost three jobs in four and a half years and has not been employed since January 2014, and is unlikely to ever be able to return to the IT sector. He is claiming £2.172 million.

Although there is no dispute over liability for the accident, the legal team for Mr Pummell’s insurance company are claiming that Mr Siegel – as a matter of probability – did not suffer a significant brain injury, and are contesting the amount of compensation requested.  They are being backed by medical experts who are suggesting that Mr Siegel’s symptoms are psychological or psychiatric.  The defence lawyers on advice from the medical experts are arguing that Mr Siegel has a misinformed belief system that he suffered a brain injury as well as other pre-existing factors that could have caused the symptoms, such as work stress and domestic upheaval.

Mr Justice Wilkie will rule at a later date.