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A £2.43 million compensation settlement achieved by lawyers representing a successful businessman who suffered a devastating stroke a month after an apparently minor road accident has underlined the dangers of whiplash.

Robert Bright thought little of it when his stationary car was hit from behind by another vehicle amidst nose-to-tail traffic on the M27 near Bristol in July 2008. He exchanged details with the other driver and continued on his way to a friend’s wedding. However, the commonplace accident had ruptured Mr Bright’s carotid artery and, 34 days later, he suffered a catastrophic stroke.

Mr Bright has been unable to return to work since the stroke, which left him prey to grand mal seizures as well as seriously affecting his short-term memory and ability to concentrate.  He remains in need of daily professional care and support.

He sued the other driver’s insurers who agreed to a settlement of his claim valued at £2.43m. On top of a £1.15 million lump sum, Mr Bright will receive index-linked and tax-free payments of £75,000 annually to cover the costs of future care. The insurers admitted full liability for the accident and, on the basis of expert evidence, accepted that the accident had caused the stroke and all its consequences.