Road accident victims can sometimes face a hard struggle to win just compensation from negligent motorists. However, specialist law firms do not easily give up the fight. In one case, lawyers representing a gravely injured cyclist won her the right to seven-figure damages after her life was ruined by a left-turning lorry.
The woman suffered three cardiac arrests and was unconscious for a month, in intensive care for 12 weeks and in hospital for 15 months following the accident. Catastrophic head injuries have left her intellectually impaired, wheelchair dependent and in need of 24-hour care.
Following a trial of her claim, a judge found the lorry driver 70 per cent to blame for the collision. He had been stationary, intending to turn left at a junction, but his vehicle had straddled two lanes. His indicator light had been masked from the cyclist’s view and he had not taken enough care in checking his mirrors.
In rejecting a challenge to those findings, the Court of Appeal noted that the lorry, due to its size and bulk, represented a grave danger to other road users, particularly cyclists. The judge had been entitled to conclude that, by the time the lorry began to turn left, it was too late for the woman to avoid the collision. The amount of her compensation has yet to be assessed but, given the extent of her disabilities, it is bound to be a seven-figure sum.