Former Peterlee boy set to win £1.75 million compensation award

Severe brain injury accident

13.04.2005

A former Peterlee youngster who was knocked off his tricycle by a taxi in 1993 and left with a severe brain injury following the accident will be awarded £1.75 million in compensation at a court hearing in Newcastle today (17 January).

George Currie, who is now 14 years old and lives in Edinburgh with his parents, was a resident of Horden, Peterlee with his parents Allister and Paula Currie at the time of the accident in September 1993.

The then three-year-old was riding his small tricycle along the pavement in Third Street, Horden when he lost control and swerved onto the road and into the path of an on-coming taxi driven by Andrew Appleby.

The only witness at the time of the accident was George's nine-year-old sister Gemma, who is now 20 years old.

Andrew Appleby told police investigators that he was driving within the 30 mph speed limit when he collided with George Currie.

However, George Currie's family claimed at the time that the taxi driver was travelling too fast, while other people who lived in the neighbourhood told police that it would be difficult to drive at this speed without hitting the wing mirrors of parked cars.

Severe brain injury

He sustained very serious injuries as a result of the collision, including severe brain injury and was immediately rushed to North Tees Hospital for emergency treatment before being transferred to Middlesbrough Hospital.

In October 1993 he was transferred to Hartlepool General Hospital, where he was treated by specialists for a severe head injury before being allowed home later that month.

Since the accident, George Currie has suffered long-term major personality and behavioural problems and because of these has been excluded from several schools in the Edinburgh area.

He is now being cared for by a specialised childcare agency in Edinburgh and is likely to require around the clock monitoring for the rest of his life.

George Currie's legal representative John Davis of personal injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell has been able to obtain police records of the accident and piece together events to help build the case against the defendant, Andrew Appleby and his insurance company.

The defendant's insurance company has accepted liability for the accident and a judgement at Newcastle County Court hearing on Monday is expected to ratify the compensation payout.

Compensation payment for severe brain injury

John Davis said that even though the accident took place more than 11 years' ago it has still been possible for the Currie family to win their compensation claim.

He said that there is no formal time limit for claims where someone has suffered a serious brain injury. Even children who are not brain injured have until three years after they attain the age of majority to bring a claim.

However, the trail gets colder the longer the time that elapses after an accident.

"Witnesses move away, records are lost and memories fade so very often it requires meticulous research and careful evidence gathering, to unlock long lost cases," said John Davis.

"I am delighted for the family, particularly so given that nobody initially thought that they had a claim. This award will go along way to rebuilding their lives and ensuring George gets the long-term care he needs. I wish them good luck for the future."

Allister Currie said: "George's injuries were awful but we now know that he will have the proper care and support needed to have a reasonable quality of life. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us over the last couple of years."

If your child has been seriously injured, our specialist serious injury claims team could help you claim compensation. Visit our Children's Serious Injury Claims for more information.