Widow receives more than £250,000 following fatal road collision

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Widow receives more than £250,000 following fatal road collision

11th January 2013

A widow whose husband was fatally injured in a tragic road collision as he cycled home from work has received more than £250,000 in an out of court settlement.

Nick Godwin, a fatal accidents specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the victim, who was in his 40s, was on his way home from his job in East London when he was hit by a council-operated refuse lorry as it exited a junction.

“My client’s husband had just passed the junction when the left-turning lorry knocked him off his bike,” said Nick, a partner with the firm. “He was then drawn under the vehicle and crushed under its wheels. Although he was rushed to hospital by ambulance, he tragically died later that evening.”

The driver of the refuse lorry, who was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, told police that he hadn’t seen from where the cyclist had come, claiming that he had stopped at the junction’s give way markings for approximately 30 seconds and checked in both directions for any oncoming traffic before attempting to turn left.

“The council initially indicated that it would ‘consider’ my client’s claim, albeit with no admission of liability,” said Nick. “Evidence was gathered, statements prepared and a detailed schedule of loss and dependency prepared and served. However, when the lorry driver was found not guilty at his subsequent criminal trial the following year because the judge couldn’t decide where in the road the cyclist was prior to the collision, no settlement proposals were forthcoming.”

After transcripts of the trial were obtained and the case was found to still have merits, proceedings were commenced out of the High Court in London. When the defendant failed to file a defence in time, judgment in default was sought and obtained. Efforts were then concentrated on valuing the claim. The defendant’s solicitors alleged that the husband’s job would have been at risk as his former employers were losing money. Vital witness evidence was then secured from the husband’s former manager whose contention was that the victim, who had been both a reliable and valuable employee, would almost certainly have secured annual pay rises and promotions had he continued to work for the company and that the company was in good health.

“My client’s husband was a devoted family man who was financially responsible for his wife and their children,” said Nick. “At the time he died, he was a fit and healthy individual who would have carried on working until his retirement, and at some stage would have helped support his children through higher education. As a consequence of his untimely death, his children have sadly lost the love of their father, my client has lost a loving husband and the family as a whole has lost their main source of income.”

Four weeks before trial and almost three years after the incident, the defendant finally made an offer of £235,000. Through further negotiations, Nick was able to settle the claim on behalf of his client for £262,500 in December 2012.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for the families of victims of fatal accidents.

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