LGV Firms Must Act To Improve In-Cab Height Information, Says Lawyer

Man Suffered Serious Head Injury In Accident

23.11.2009

A lawyer has said haulage firms should do more to ensure agency LGV drivers are aware of their vehicle’s height after a former soldier suffered a serious head injury when he hit the underside of a bridge.

Class 1 LGV driver Gordon Scott, from Leeds, has been awarded a six-figure compensation settlement to provide for his future care following the crash in March 2005.

Personal injury specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell have secured the payout from DHL to support Mr Scott, who is unable to work again or lead an independent life.

Irwin Mitchell associate solicitor Joanne Ewart, who represented Mr Scott, said the claim’s success represented an acknowledgement by DHL that it had not provided Mr Scott enough in-cab information about the height of the vehicle.

“While there are duties on drivers in this situation, employers also have to make sure they do everything they can to ensure drivers are reasonably safe while at work,” she added.

“This is particularly true for agency drivers who will often swap between vehicles with substantially different trailer heights.”

Mr Scott served eight years in the Duke of Wellington Regiment 1st Battalion before becoming an LGV driver. He worked part-time for SMS Agencies in Morley to allow him to help care for his severely disabled daughter.

Mr Scott has five children and is a grandfather but will not be able to look after them given the extent of his brain damage, sustained when his vehicle hit a 14ft 3ins bridge on the A638 in Crofton, near Wakefield.

Joanne Ewart added: “Gordon suffered a very serious head injury in the crash and his world has been turned upside down by the fallout from the incident.

“He suffers severe memory problems and his personality has changed a great deal because of the extent of the damage to his brain.

“He will need care for the rest of his life so it was vital we were able to secure a significant level of compensation to provide the professional help and support he requires in the future.

“No settlement can ever compensate for what happened but with good care and expert rehabilitation therapy it may be possible to restore some quality of life for Gordon.”