Disabled client wins RTA compensation claim

Dated:   

We successfully negotiated a compensation claim payout of £30,000 for a disabled client who was knocked down by a delivery lorry near her local supermarket.

Our client suffers from Cerebral Palsy and, though an adult, has a reduced mental age. Therefore her father took charge of the case to claim compensation for her injuries.

It was December 2005 and our client was crossing the road to the supermarket when she was knocked down by the large lorry, which ran over her right leg and foot. Her injuries were so severe that the underlying muscles and tendons of her leg were visible and the accident also left her with a broken leg, ankle and foot. She spent a month in hospital undergoing several procedures and, when discharged, she was still treated as an outpatient at the fracture clinic, plastic surgery department and the physiotherapy unit.

As her father began a claim for damages, the leading supermarket whose delivery lorry was involved in the accident would not provide any information. Even more difficult was that the young lady involved was unable to speak about the incident – a clinical psychologist later confirmed that she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder which would require treatment – and so we had to rely on the original reports from the Police Officer first on the scene and family members.

By October 2006, the defendant had denied all liability for the road traffic accident by stating that the vehicle was clearly visible as it waited to turn and that the victim was to blame for not anticipating the vehicle’s movements.

Without first hand witness evidence we requested a forensic accident reconstruction report which concluded that the delivery lorry driver should have checked the road before pulling off with more mirror checks to establish where the young lady was before he made the turn into the road.

By February 2007 we disclosed the victim’s medical evidence and moved to secure a care and equipment report. We issued proceedings in April 2007, still with no concessions or proposals from the supermarket giant.

We requested that they pay towards the young lady’s psychological treatment but the defendant insisted that she was entirely to blame for the accident and that the driver had done all he could to ensure his manoeuvre would not endanger her.

With liability in dispute and the victim unable to say what had happened, our accident reconstruction expert formed an opinion, we obtained incident reports from the Fire and Ambulance service and we eventually tracked down a lay witness who confirmed that the lorry had turned the wrong way when coming out of the access road to the supermarket.

Still the defendant claimed that the driver had done nothing wrong but made an ex-gratia offer of £25,000. After some discussions, we were able to negotiate a sum of £30,000 to be paid to our client and the defendant was to cover all costs. We also applied to the Court of Protection to appoint a Receiver to ensure that our young disabled client’s RTA compensation claim amount would be managed effectively.

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