Holiday crash teen receives compensation despite insurer going bust

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Holiday crash teen receives compensation despite insurer going bust

7th September 2015

A young holidaymaker who lost several teeth in a road traffic collision has finally won her battle for compensation – despite the other driver’s insurance company ceasing to trade.

The teenaged girl was badly injured when her face hit the back of the driver’s seat in the collision, which happened on the last day of a family holiday on the Greek Island of Rhodes.

Nicola Simpson, a specialist holiday injuries lawyer with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the young girl had been riding in the back of her family’s hire car as they travelled to a theme park. “As they drove around a corner – on the correct side of the road - there was another car coming towards them at considerable speed, travelling on their side of the road,” she said. “There was no time for either driver to take evasive action, and the result was a head-on collision.

“Even though my client was wearing her seat belt, the force of the collision was such that she struck her face on the back of the seat in front of her,” said Nicola. “She lost three front teeth in the impact, and a wire from an orthodontic retainer broke loose and cut her mouth in several places. In considerable pain and shock and bleeding profusely, she was first taken to a clinic to have the rest of the retainer removed, before an ambulance then took her to the island’s main hospital for further treatment.”

The young girl suffered cuts and bruises to her face, a fracture to her nose and significant injuries to her lips and mouth in the collision. “Although she went to see her dentist immediately after returning home,” said Nicola, “the extent of the bruising and swelling meant that nothing could be done for six weeks. She had to spend all that time with a large gap in her front teeth and had difficulty eating and drinking, as well as feeling very self-conscious about her appearance.”

When the teenager returned to the dentist, impressions were taken so that a partial denture could be made. “Although the gap in my client’s mouth was eventually filled with ‘teeth’ which matched her own, she was incredibly uncomfortable having to wear the denture,” said Nicola. “She was acutely embarrassed, and the denture would sometimes move around or even come out altogether when she ate or spoke animatedly.”

The girl was told that the denture was the only solution that could be offered to her through the NHS, but that other options were available privately. The best of these options, she determined, would be dental implants.

“Dental implants are quite expensive and involve a lengthy process and numerous appointments,” said Nicola. “But as my client was only young and was injured through no fault of her own, I wanted to make sure she received the very best treatment that would make her feel happier about her appearance.”

Nicola said her client also suffered with psychological injuries arising from the collision itself and her subsequent ordeal, becoming anxious and introverted in the immediate aftermath as she was so affected by the loss of her teeth.

“As well as the cost of dental implants and the associated treatment and care, we also recovered sufficient compensation to pay for cognitive behavioural therapy for the young victim, helping her come to terms with what had happened.,” said Nicola. “However the claim was made difficult when the Greek insurer of the second driver involved ceased trading.

“When they went bust, we had to begin our claim again - only this time pursuing it through the Greek equivalent of our own Motor Insurer’s Bureau, known as the Greek Auxiliary Fund or the Guarantee Fund,” she said. “It was a very protracted process but, thanks to our knowledge of European laws and our network of agents across the Mediterranean, we were able to obtain the correct advice and assistance which enabled us to successfully fight for our client.”

Following negotiations, Nicola settled the claim on behalf of her client for £35,240.

“I’m pleased that after the ordeal she was subjected to, we were able to negotiate  such a large settlement to enable this young woman to undergo the treatment which will make her feel so much better about herself,” said Nicola.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to holiday accidents. Our team of multi-lingual legal specialists has many years’ experience successfully pursuing claims on behalf of people who have been injured in road traffic incidents around the globe. The law covering liability for motor accidents differs throughout the world, and our experts are well-versed in the variety of different procedures which enables them to process your claim efficiently and effectively. The time limits on when a claim can be brought are different in every country throughout the world.

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident while abroad, either as a driver, a passenger, a pedestrian or a cyclist, it is vital that you seek expert legal advice as soon as possible.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.