Pedestrian hit by uninsured drunk driver receives £187,000

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Pedestrian hit by uninsured drunk driver receives £187,000

3rd May 2012

A man who was seriously injured when he was knocked down by an uninsured drunk driver has received £187,000 in an out of court settlement.

The man, who was in his thirties at the time, suffered fractures to his neck and both legs in the hit-and-run incident, together with injuries to his chest, head and face. He required a number of operations and has been left with permanent symptoms as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Daniel Leonard, a specialist serious injury lawyer with Fentons Solicitors LLP said the victim had been walking home late in the evening when he was hit from behind by the defendant’s vehicle.

“After spending the day together with friends, my client and another friend were heading home in the late evening,” said Daniel, an associate with the firm. “As they walked along, the defendant’s car struck my client and launched him into the air and over the car.”

Incredibly the driver did not stop, and instead sped from the scene before colliding with a wall just a few metres further down the road. “As my client lay unconscious and bleeding in the road, the driver fled the scene, leaving his crashed car,” said Daniel. “An ambulance and police were called, and my client was rushed to hospital to receive treatment for his injuries,” he said. “The car driver was arrested shortly afterwards, when he returned to retrieve his vehicle.”

Daniel said that his client remained in hospital for several weeks, and needed help and assistance when he was discharged. “The seriousness of the neck injury could not be determined straight away, so my client had to wear a neck brace and was reliant on a wheelchair to get around,” he said. “He had suffered a catalogue of injuries including multiple fractures, and the permanent symptoms he suffers are likely to worsen over time.”

Daniel said that the case was made difficult by the fact that the driver was uninsured and disputed the circumstances of how the incident happened.

“The Motor Insurer’s Bureau exists to help people just like my client, who have been injured in incidents involving uninsured drivers,” said Daniel. “But when we contacted them, we learned that whilst my client’s friend said that the vehicle mounted the pavement before hitting him, the driver had claimed that the two men were walking in the road.”

Daniel said this meant that before negotiating a settlement with the MIB, he had to secure an agreement on liability. “The driver claimed my client was intoxicated and walking in the road,” said Daniel. “My client had no memory of the incident itself due to the nature of his injury, but his friend was adamant that they had been walking on the pavement. We argued that  the fact that my client had been drinking in no way excused the negligent actions of the uninsured driver, who himself was intoxicated."

Liability was agreed on the basis of 85% in favour of the client, who received £187,000 in damages following lengthy negotiations.

“Even though the driver was not insured, we were able to secure a substantial settlement which will hopefully go some way to helping my client as he continues to deal with the symptoms of his injuries,” said Daniel.

The driver involved was charged and convicted of a number of motoring offences.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of injuries sustained in road traffic collisions involving uninsured drivers.

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