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Driver paralysed after collision receives £1.25m compensation
A driver who was left paralysed from the waist down when his vehicle ran off the road and overturned has received £1.25m in an out of court settlement.
The man, who was in his 50s, was driving an 8-tonne road-sweeper on his way to work along a busy A-road in the early morning, when he suddenly came upon a car parked on the road directly in front of him.
“It was a dark, winter’s morning, and my client only saw the car in the road at the last second,” said Richard Crabtree, a serious injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP who represented the victim. “He had just driven up from a dip in the road, and as he reached the brow of the hill he suddenly saw the car was blocking his path. He swerved to avoid it, but ran up a grass verge and was helpless to stop his own vehicle from overturning.”
Richard explained that the car – which was black – had apparently been left there after it had broken down. “Unfortunately the motorist had not made any attempt to move off the main carriageway and onto the verge, so when my client drove up to it in the dark of that morning, he had to react very quickly to avoid smashing into it.
“The road was single carriageway and there was no lighting, so it was only when my client’s headlights passed over the abandoned car – from only around five or six feet away - that he even knew it was there.
“His immediate reaction was to swerve to the right to avoid a crash,” said Richard. “As he slammed on the brakes, he steered his own vehicle up a banking on the right hand side of the road, then turned left to come back down onto the road. Unfortunately the wheels on the vehicle gained traction, flipping it onto its side, before it careered into a hedge and came to a standstill.”
Richard said the man was thrown around in his cab and became trapped. “His right hand was pinned between the steering wheel and his right leg, and he suffered a serious de-gloving injury – where the skin is literally torn away from the flesh - to three fingers on his hand.”
Firefighters had to use specialist cutting equipment to free the driver from his cab, and he was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.
“My client suffered fractures to three vertebrae in his back, leaving him paralysed from the waist down,” said Richard. “His horrific hand injuries also required several operations, and he sustained a broken nose and a number of fractured ribs.”
Richard said that following the incident his client remained in a specialist spinal injury unit for several months, before being moved to a care home to continue his convalescence.
“Obviously my client’s career as a driver was ended that day, but as well as losing his source of income he now faces a future of continuous care and medical treatment costs,” he said. “We pursued a claim for compensation on his behalf against the owner of the other vehicle, and in securing this settlement we hope that he can now begin the difficult process of moving on with his life.”
Richard said his client was now hoping to move into specially-designed accommodation and regain some of the independence he has lost since sustaining his injuries.
“No amount of money can make up for what he has been through and continues to endure,” he said, “but at least now he can look to the future without the added concern of how he will fund his care.”
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