Road Accidents

Five-Figure Settlement for Child Motorcycle Injuries

 

A seven year-old girl, who was permanently scarred because of a collision with a passing motorcycle when she was just four years old, has received £50,000 in compensation for the incident.

The child, whose name has not been released though comes from Co. Armagh, was injured in May 2013, aged just four years old, as she was playing outside her grandparents’ house. As she was playing, a passing motorcyclist scraped the child’s cheek with the handlebars of his “scrambler” motorcycle.

The handlebars lacerated the four year-old’s cheek, causing a gash into her mouth. She suffered extensive damage to her jaw and teeth, as well as many psychological injuries. The young girl developed a phobia of the loud noises produced by motorcycle engines, and had recurring nightmares in the weeks after the incident.

The child’s mother, acting on the little girl’s behalf, consulted a solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for the scrambler bike injury against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. The bureau, who deal with cases concerning uninsured or unidentified drivers, admitted liability for the injuries, and the case proceeded to the courts in Belfast for assessment.

Mr Justice Stephens presided over the assessment hearing in Belfast, and was given evidence that the since the incident, the young girl was still dependent and clingy at the sound of motorcycles. Initially, whenever the engines could be heard passing her house, she would scream in terror.

Upon examining the prominent scar on the girl’s cheek, Judge Stephens noted that “when the plaintiff smiles, expressing happiness and enjoyment, the impact of the smile is spoilt by the scar becoming markedly indented.”

The judge described the girl as “relatively shy”, adding that size of the scar meant that she would be very conscious of it as she grew. Regrettably, the nature and location of the scar means that plastic surgery is unlikely to have a pronounces effect.

The girl was then awarded £90,000 by the judge in compensation for the injuries she sustained, accounting for both the physical and psychological effects of the accident.

Enquiries Ensue into Bus Crash Compensation

The victims of a recent bus collision that involved two other vehicles have begun investigating claims for compensation.

The accident, involving a bus and two cars, occurred on the 3rd March this year along the Bridlington Road in Chesterfield. Seven of the bus passengers, who had been riding the number 70 bus towards Killamarsh, had to be taken to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital after the collision, though one of the car drivers sustained such severe injuries that they had to be airlifted to the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, for treatment.

Shortly after the accident, a police investigation commenced and resulted in the arrest of a thirty-seven year old man who is suspected to have caused the crash through reckless driving. The victims of the accident have also sought legal counsel concerning a compensation settlement for their physical and emotional trauma, though it is likely that any compensation claims will not be made until the police investigation has advanced.

Seventy-year old Mavis Blood was on the bus when it collided with the other vehicles. She was also amongst the passengers to be brought to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a bleed on her brain, as well as deep lacerations to her face. As a precaution, doctors admitted her overnight, though it appears that she did not suffer permanent damage from the crash.

Mavis’ granddaughter, Ellen Chapman, spoke to the Derbyshire Times whilst her grandmother was still being monitored: “She went to hospital and there was concern because she’s 70 she’s high risk, and they found she’s got a bleed on the brain, likely because she takes blood thinning tablets. They’re monitoring her and hoping the bleed will sort herself out.”

A solicitor, who is representing one of the bus passengers, has also commented that “The consequences of such incidents should not be downplayed, as through our work acting on behalf of clients we have seen how crashes of this nature have left victims suffering from not only their physical injuries months after the event, but also the psychological trauma.”

Compensation Approved after Car Crash

London’s High Court have given their approval of a compensation settlement to be paid to a young man after he sustained serious brain injuries in a car accident.

The incident occurred in March 2007, when Jack Mitchell – then aged just seventeen – was riding in a  car as a passenger in the front seat. The car – a Fiat Punto – was driven by a friend of Jack’s, and in an attempt to avoid hitting a fox on the road the driver swerved and subsequently crashed. The police investigators tasked with finding out the exact circumstances of the accident described the accident as a “horrific collision”.

Jack sustained several severe injuries in the even, including factors to his legs, lacerations to his head and trauma to his brain. After the accident, he spent three months recovering in hospital, and a further three weeks in a rehabilitation unit before he was discharged and returned home.

As Jack was a minor, he made a claim for the injuries he sustained in the accident against his friend, the driver, through his mother. The friend’s insurance company conceded liability for the injuries, yet despite this admission Jack and his family were put under covert surveillance for the duration of the negotiations.

After protracted negotiations, a compensation package was determined between the two parties that consisted of annual, tax-free and index-linked payments and an lump sum. The package is estimated to be worth £4.3 million, though before the claim could be put to rest, the settlement had to be resolved by a judge. This is because Jack was a minor, and as such, a judge was required to review the settlement to ensure that it was in Jack’s best interest.

The case proceeded to the High Court in London, where Mrs Justice Whipple oversaw proceedings. She was given details of both the accident and any care Jack had to receive in the subsequent months. After this, she gave her approval of the compensation package and termed it a “reasonable compromise”. She also commended Jack’s family for the way in which they cared and supported their son, and wished Jack the best for his future.

Judge Divides Liability for Taxi Injury

A judge in London’s High Court has split the liability for a taxi accident that came about because the taxi driver believed that his passenger was trying to avoid paying the fare.

The accident occurred in November 2010 when Kristopher Hicks was travelling home from an evening out with his girlfriend, Abigail Noad. The couple took a taxi, driven by Michael Young, together from the Abbey Taxi Rank in Bath.

Upon their arrival in Queen’s Drive, where they live, Abigail alighted from the care. However, before Kristopher could also get out, Young began to drive away. Later, he explained that this was because he believed that the couple were going to “do a runner” and avoid paying his fare.

Young had driven for less than a mile before Kristopher jumped from the vehicle as it was moving. However, as a consequence of his collision with the road, he sustained severe injuries to his head and is now reliant on full-time care. Kristopher will never be able to be independent again.

Due to the nature of his disabilities, Kristopher was unable to represent himself in legal proceedings. As such, his mother – Jill Hicks, who also acts as Kristopher’s full-time carer – made a claim for compensation on his behalf against Young. In the claim, she alleged that Kristopher jumped from the taxi as he thought that he was being abducted by Young, considering that he was a strange man and it was late in the evening.

However, these allegations were disputed by Young, who said that Kristopher alone was to blame for his injuries as he had made the decision to jump from the taxi as it was moving. A police investigation into the taxi driver determined that he had a “militant approach” to those avoiding fares, and even had an illegal CS gas canister to deal with such cases.

The case proceeded to London’s High Court such that Mr Justice Edis could determine liability. The judge agreed that Kristopher was “substantially to blame for his own misfortune”, though also commented that there was little doubt that Young had acted illegally by detaining his passenger. Judge Edis then ruled that there should be a fifty-fifty split in liability, and proceeded to adjourn the case such that an assessment of damages could be conducted.

Motorcyclist Ordered to Pay Injured Passenger £2,000

A motorcyclist, who injured his passenger by driving recklessly, has been ordered to pay £2,000 to the passenger and was dealt a two year suspended sentence.

The accident occurred on March 8th of this year when Mark Holmes of Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, had finished his shift working as a barman in the local pub, Commercial. He then offered his friend Joshua Pierce a lift home as a passenger on his motorcycle. Mr Pierce was supplied with a high-visibility vest and helmet to wear, leaving Mr Holmes with no helmet for himself. Shortly after their journey commenced Mr Holmes speedily exited a side road that lead onto the main Manchester Road, where he collided with a car.

Mr Holmes suffered trauma to his head – which would have been avoided if he had more than one helmet. His passenger sustained severe injuries to his lower body, notably his leg and pelvis. After emergency services brought Mr Pierce to Leeds General Infirmary an eleven-hour operation had to be carried out on his leg to reconstruct it after the collision.

An investigation was then carried out concerning the circumstances of the accident. It was discovered that, as Mr Holmes only had a provisional driving licence, he was not certified to carry passengers on the back of his motorbike. Mr Holmes was consequently charged with dangerous driving causing injury and the case against him was heard earlier this month in the Leeds Crown Court.

At the hearing, presided over by Judge Sally Cahill, Mr Holmes pleaded guilty to the charge of causing injury through dangerous driving and for failing to adhere to the conditions of his provisional licence. He also admitted that his actions that night were irresponsible and cited the decision to offer his friend a lift as foolish.  Mr Holmes’ barrister ensured the judge that his client was sober on the night of the accident, and attested to his good character. The judge sentenced Mr Holmes to a two-year suspended sentence, two hundred hours of community service and prohibited him from driving for a year. Mr Holmes was also ordered to pay the injured Mr Pierce £2,000 compensation for the accident.

 

Cameraman Awarded Compensation for French Accident

A cameraman has settled his injury claim for an accident that caused him to lose his right leg whilst filming in France.

The accident occurred during October 2015 when Noel Greaves-Lord, fifty-two from Worthing in West Sussex was filming in Cannes. One of the Ducati motorbikes that he was filming skidded and lost control as it manoeuvred around a corner and collided with Mr Greaves-Lord, who suffered a severely broken right leg and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Mr Greaves-Lord had previously worked with BBC and ITV.

Several operations were carried out on Mr Greaves-Lord in an attempt to reconstruct his ankle. However, it was necessary to amputate after he contracted MRSA whilst in hospital. The leg was amputated from the knee down in November 2011.  Mr Greaves-Lord  then returned to England and sought the advice of a solicitor in order to make an injury claim for the accident against the driver of the motorcycle that hit him.

The Italian driver of the Ducati conceded liability, but a settlement agreement was delayed until an assessment of Mr Greaves-Lord’s future requirements could be carried out. Mr Greaves-Lord has since received an undisclosed settlement that accounts for the pain he suffered, his loss of earnings (as he has been rendered unable to work) and his future care needs. Mr Greaves-Lord states that “I am pleased and relieved that my legal battle has come to a conclusion and I can now focus completely on rebuilding my life and continue with my recovery and rehabilitation. The last four years have been devastating and the injuries I sustained in France have had a huge impact on my life”.

French compensation claims are very different to their UK equivalents; though liability is much more likely to be admitted, the settlements themselves are often for a much lower value than what would be received in the United Kingdom.