Four years ago, 48-year-old bus driver Ken was injured in a car crash as he was on his way to pick up his teenage son after a football match. Through no fault of his own, a car pulled out of a side junction without warning and he hit it head on. His injuries were such that his arm had to be amputated below the elbow.
As a result, he couldn’t return to his job and he also suffered depression as he was a keen sportsman and captain of his bus company’s cricket team. In fact, it was clear that Ken would unlikely ever return to paid employment. He didn’t have a lot of savings and was put on Disability Living Allowance.
Ken applied for a compensation claim via the Accident Advice Helpline after calling our freephone number. He confirmed that the accident happened within the last three years, he was at no fault for the crash and he received emergency medical treatment in hospital.
The no win no fee* solicitor we appointed for him – one of 200 lawyers in our UK network – successfully won compensation damages from the defendant’s insurers for over £300,000. He advised Ken that as he was receiving benefits for his disability, a personal injury trust fund was the right way to go to avoid his client losing those benefits.
Personal injury trust fund
The Accident Advice Helpline lawyer explained that a person has 52 weeks from the date the compensation award is received to set up a personal injury trust fund. After that period, if this is not done, the award cash would count as capital under Department of Works and Pensions assessment and all state benefits could be lost, as well as any future entitlements.
A personal injury trust fund following compensation allows client peace of mind. Its trustees – one of whom could be yourself – can take care of things financially in case the victim, for whatever reason, is unable to do so himself in the future. A minimum of two trustees are needed to set up the fund, so the other person to act with you could be a trusted friend, family member or a professional, like a solicitor.
It is also worth remembering that any capital held in a personal injury trust fund is also usually not taken into consideration in any means testing for residential care as well as other healthcare support, private or NHS, and this includes domestic care. Even those not in receipt of state benefits should consider setting up a personal injury trust fund in order to protect their entitlement to state support should it been needed in the future.
Ken wanted to buy a small terraced house for his daughter from his compensation. He set up a personal injury trust fund, his eldest son and brother acting as his co-trustees. He continued to get DLA benefit and used £75,000 of his settlement to buy the small house. He used another £10,000 for his own home improvements, £3,000 went on his youngest son’s sports education and £1,500 each to his daughter and her husband for the care they gave him following his return home from hospital.
The rest went into a low risk investment portfolio, spread between a variety of small but solid ventures assets, which produces a steady monthly income for him and has long-term capital growth potential. That monthly income was on top of Ken’s state DLA benefit.
A good outcome from an unhappy incident – so if you’re now in a similar position to Ken following his accident, call us now on 0800 180 4123 and see what we can do for you.