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Pedestrian traumatised after zebra crossing car collision
A pedestrian who suffered months of severe post-traumatic stress after he was knocked down by a car on a zebra crossing has received £102,000 in compensation.
Daniel Denton, a specialist road collisions expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the West London man, who is in his 30s, struggled to cope with both a detached retina and the hugely damaging effects of severe post-traumatic stress disorder following the incident, which occurred nearly three years ago.
“My client was halfway across a zebra crossing near his home when he was struck from behind by a car and thrown to the ground,” said Daniel, an associate with the firm. “He never even saw the car that hit him approaching as it was travelling on the wrong side of the road.
“When the driver stopped his car and got out, he just stood there staring down at my client,” he added. “There was no emotion or remorse whatsoever. He never even apologised or asked how he was as his only concern was for his broken wing mirror.”
The claimant suffered post-traumatic amnesia and as a result can only remember brief episodes from the rest of that day. “He remembers sitting in an ambulance and telling the paramedics he needed to get to his bar job,” said Daniel. “They were trying to persuade him to go to hospital but as he wasn’t feeling too bad at that point all he wanted to do was get into work.
“Some time after giving his statement, my client was at work when he began feeling nauseous,” he added. “When he told his boss what had happened he was put into a cab and taken to hospital. After the cuts on his head and his hands were cleaned he was told he needed to stay for a couple of hours so that doctors could keep an eye on his head injury. He doesn’t remember being discharged and he has no idea how he got home.”
Daniel said his client couldn’t leave his flat for the next three days as he felt so anxious and confused. “He kept having nightmares and flashbacks and seeing the driver standing over him,” he said. “He couldn’t stop thinking about the accident and when he went back to work he couldn’t memorise or concentrate on anything. After he began suffering severe panic attacks - something he’d never experienced before in his life - he resigned.”
A few weeks after the accident the claimant noticed what looked like a large snake-shaped line floating around in his right eye. When he went to see his GP he was referred to an eye hospital and diagnosed with a detached right retina. After being told the devastating news that his condition was permanent, doctors said that he would just have to get used to it.
By this point the claimant’s panic attacks had become so intense and overwhelming, especially when in public, that he could barely go outside and would only leave his flat when he needed food. Each attack would leave him shaken, drenched in sweat and with a sensation in his legs like they were about to collapse. Although he continued to experience such panic attacks often over the next several months, with the aid of anti-depressants and psychotherapy his symptoms gradually began to improve.
“My client was simply trying to get to work and was crossing at what he thought was the safest possible place,” said Daniel. “The man who knocked him down that day - who was later convicted of driving without due care and attention - was driving in an incredibly dangerous manner on the wrong side of the road. As a direct result, my client has had to struggle with severe psychological symptoms which have had a profoundly destructive effect on his life. If that wasn’t enough, he has now been left with ongoing issues with his vision, which is obviously something he finds extremely distressing.”
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