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“Don’t drink and drive,” urges road collision injury expert
A legal expert specialising in road accident injuries has urged motorists to stay away from the wheel if they have been drinking.
Mark Hatzer, a partner with Fentons Solicitors LLP, made the plea after one of his clients was left seriously injured when he was knocked down by a drunk driver.
Mark said his client was just 18 when he was knocked down following a night out in 2007. In the months that followed he lost his job and was subjected to weeks of medical treatment and physiotherapy. Now, almost three years after the incident, he still suffers traumatic memories from that night.
"The young man had been part of a group enjoying a night out with friends," said Mark. "Around midnight he decided to make his way home. Although it was raining, he thought he would walk home and save on the taxi fare," he said.
"My client's memory of exactly what happened next is unclear, but he remembered beginning to cross the road. He only made it as far as the green cycle lane when he was hit in the side by a car."
The car hit the young man with such force that he was thrown into the air and onto the vehicle's bonnet, shattering the windscreen. "As the car turned the corner at the next junction, he was carried along on the bonnet until it stopped at the lights there," Mark said.
"He was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he remained for almost two weeks. His left leg was fractured in two places - both the fibula and tibia," said Mr Hatzer. "He suffered a fracture to his right arm and needed staples to close the wound in his head. He also had cuts and bruises all over his back, and had the skin literally torn from the underside of his foot."
Mark said the driver was breathalysed at the scene and subsequently charged and convicted with a drink driving offence.
"Although the driver was successfully prosecuted, my client still has to live with the consequences of that night," he said. "Before this, he had been an energetic and sporty young man. After what he's been through, he can't exert himself physically for any period of time and he still suffers pain if he tries to do too much."
Mark pursued a claim for compensation against the driver's insurance company and recently negotiated a settlement in excess of £38,000 for the pain and suffering his client had been caused.
He urged anyone considering getting behind the wheel of a car after having a drink to stop and think of the consequences - if not for themselves and their families, then for innocent victims like his client.
"For years, we've seen adverts on TV and heard and read stories in the news about how dangerous drinking and driving can be," said Mark. "But for some reason the message just doesn't get through to some people.
"This young man has been through hell because someone drank too much, was driving too fast and just didn't see him as he crossed the road," he said. "This settlement will make it a little easier for him to get on with his life, but no amount of compensation can make up for living in pain the last three years and being unable to do so many of the things he used to love."
How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of road traffic collisions.
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.
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