Breakdown technician injured in motorway collision awarded damages

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Breakdown technician injured in motorway collision awarded damages

17th February 2011

A breakdown technician who was injured when an articulated lorry ploughed into the back of his stationary van at the side of a motorway has been awarded £65,000 in compensation.

The 40-year-old victim, who had been answering an early morning call-out shortly before 3am, had just finished replacing a lorry tyre on the hard shoulder of the M25 when the lorry veered off the road and into his van, throwing him through the windscreen and onto the tarmac.

John Reeder, a personal injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said his client had been climbing into his vehicle from the passenger side, as was customary to avoid exposing himself to the dangerous inside lane of the motorway. "My client remembers stepping over the gear stick, looking down into the foot-well and thinking how 'eerily' quiet the road was at the time," said John, a partner with the firm.

"He next remembers lying on the tarmac with blood in his eyes, with two men standing over him and slapping him around the face in an effort to keep him awake," he said. "Amazingly he survived, albeit with a serious injury to his right eye."

The incident fractured the man's right eye socket, tearing off his eyelid. He was taken by ambulance to hospital where he was stabilised, x-rayed and transferred to a second hospital where he underwent a five-hour operation under general anaesthetic to repair and stitch up the skin around his eye.

"Despite undergoing numerous operations on his injured eye, my client still has some difficulty fully closing his right eyelid," said John. "He has lost his eyelashes and he continues to have to lubricate his eye with creams and drops to avoid it becoming sore and dry. He has permanent scarring to his left temple as well as to the bridge of his nose, and around his injured eye."

John said it was a challenge for his client to return to work following what was the second serious roadside accident he had suffered in the last ten years. "Although he has no recollection of the first incident - in which he sustained orthopaedic and head injuries - he knows he was hit by a lorry on the motorway in similar circumstances."

"Following an 8 month absence from work, he has understandably been fearful about attending motorway callouts," said John. "However, due to the rotating nature of the shift work involved with the job there are times when he is required to be on call for motorway incidents, 24 hours a day for seven days at a time and it is these shifts that have understandably become an uncomfortable part of my client's job."

John said the injuries to his client's face have also had a significant impact upon him and his family. "His facial disfigurement has profoundly affected his confidence and ability to socialise with friends and family," he said. "He has suffered nightmares, anxiety and psychological problems associated with the trauma of his ordeal."

The defendant, whose lorry had been moved along by police after he was found asleep on the hard shoulder just prior to the incident, was subsequently imprisoned after being convicted of dangerous driving.

In February 2011, John Reeder settled the claim on behalf of his client for the gross sum of £65,000.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of road traffic collisions.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.