Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham based serious injury team has secured a substantial settlement on behalf of a 48 year old Devon woman who was rendered paraplegic in a motorway collision.
The accident occurred on the M6 in Staffordshire in the early hours of the morning. A lorry had jack-knifed on the carriageway, partially blocking it. The electrics on the lorry had failed so it was not illuminated.
Our client was travelling in the rear of a camper van. The driver of the camper van failed to see the lorry blocking the carriageway and drove straight into it. Another vehicle also collided with the lorry resulting in one fatality.
Claims were brought against the operators of the lorry and the driver of the camper van. Both denied any liability and sought to blame each other. The matter was scheduled for trial, but shortly before that the Defendants made a substantial offer in settlement.
Stephen Nye, Partner in our Birmingham office dealt with the claim and commented:
"This was a major incident on one of our busiest motorways. It had been argued that some kind of mechanical defect caused the lorry to jack-knife, though such a defect was never identified and driver error remained the most likely explanation. As far as the camper van driver was concerned, there was strong evidence he had been tail-gating another vehicle, making it impossible to see the jack-knifed lorry. Clearly more sensible driving on his part could possibly have avoided this devastating collision altogether.
"The significant sum recovered by my client will enable her to obtain professional care, which she will be reliant upon for life and will also allow her to access more appropriate therapies and purchase a more suitable home.
"My client was an entirely innocent victim, whose life has been devastated by the negligence of others. She rightly had all of her compensation paid by the Defendants, who will also pay all of her legal costs. It is a matter of grave concern that proposed legal reforms mean that in future claims such as this, the Defendants will only have to pay a proportion of the costs. There is simply no justification for this. My client and others like her need every penny of their compensation to meet their future needs."
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