Case study: £50,000 for pedestrian knocked over by car

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Our road traffic accident solicitors helped a pedestrian claim compensation after she was knocked over by a car that mounted the pavement.

Accident circumstances and injuries

Our client, Ms J, was seriously injured when she was knocked over by a car that mounted the pavement.

The Police suggested to Ms J at the time that the Defendant (driver of the car) was elderly and may have had a medical episode whilst behind the wheel. This was significant in Ms J’s case as, when a medical episode happens in circumstances where the driver had no opportunity to avoid the impact on their driving, a court would not find them to be at fault or liable to pay damages to anyone injured as a result.

Injuries sustained

As a result of the accident, Ms J sustained the following injuries:

  • A fractured pelvis requiring surgery
  • A pelvic haematoma (blood located in the pelvic peritoneal space, as a result of bleeding lacerations)
  • An initial loss of continence
  • A fractured clavicle (collarbone)
  • A blow to her left arm and grazing
  • Psychological injury

Our client was off work for approximately five months before she attempted a gradual return.

Claiming compensation for personal injury

Our Personal Injury team requested a Police Accident Report to examine the case in further detail, however, due to long waiting times to receive the report, our team obtained copies of Ms J’s medical records to help establish the extent of her injuries. A witness statement was based on the information Ms J provided to us in relation to her accident and ongoing recovery.

Our solicitors submitted a Letter of Claim to the Defendant’s insurers who confirmed that they would await the Police Accident Report before accepting liability, as the Defendant had no recollection of the accident.

Automatism defence

The Police were satisfied a medical event had occurred as it had been confirmed to them by medics and the Defendant’s driving licence was revoked by the DVLA. The Police Accident Report provided details of witnesses who were either involved in or witnessed the incident. We contacted each witness to obtain more information on whether it appeared the Defendant was in control of the vehicle.

Unfortunately, there was no evidence suggesting the driver was able to control their vehicle or that the lack of control was their fault in some way. They potentially had a defence of automatism. This is a rarely used defence relating to the Defendant’s mental state and is available where a Defendant can demonstrate that the accident occurred due to an involuntary act, over which they had no control.

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Settlement offer negotiations

The Defendant denied liability for the accident but made an offer of £35,000 on a ‘without prejudiced’ basis (not admitting liability).

Our Personal Injury team considered the offer very carefully as there was a significant risk that the Defendant would be successful with their automatism defence even after the further extensive investigation that would be necessary. Our solicitors considered the potential value of the claim, taking into account Ms J’s ongoing injuries. We were confident it would be worth more than £35,000, however, Ms J had to consider the risk that if the Defendant’s automatism defence was successful, no compensation would be given.

Based on a preliminary valuation of information about her medical position, we made a timed counter-offer of £55,000 on a without prejudice basis.

Following further negotiation, we reached a settlement of £50,000 permitting Ms J to put the events behind her.

Contact our pedestrian accident solicitors

If you have been hit by a car or other vehicle as a pedestrian, and have sustained injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact our specialist personal injury solicitors today on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form.


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