Pedestrian Wins Duty Of Care Appeal

Damages Awarded after Taxi Injury

24.07.2010

A pedestrian who was seriously injured in a road collision has won the right to damages, after she was hit by a taxi last year.

Mrs Pervin Yetkin, from Dalston, north London was hit by a taxi in February 2004 as she started to cross Stratford High Street in east London.

Judge Hegarty QC dismissed her initial claim at Manchester civil justice centre last October on the grounds that the lights were against her at the time.

But the Court of Appeal ruled that, despite her own negligence, the local highway authority still owed her a duty of care and had failed in that duty by not trimming back the bushes on the central reservation that had obscured her view of oncoming traffic.

Three judges directed that the highway authority, Newham Council, compensate her for 25% of the damage she suffered.

The amount she is to receive will be assessed by another court at a later date.

The 54-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries, including a fractured neck and internal injuries, in the accident.

She sued Newham Council and the taxi driver, Sajad Mahmood.

She appealed against Judge Hegarty's ruling that the local authority did not owe her a duty of care.

Overturning the ruling, appeal judges Lord Justice Laws, Lady Justice Smith and Lady Justice Black said the single judge had misunderstood the law.

Colin Ettinger at Law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This decision confirms that there is an obligation on local highway authorities to ensure that the roadway is kept safe for all people to use. This includes ensuring that road users have good visibility of vehicles and other obstructions. Let's hope this decision results in an improvement of safety which will reduce injuries and deaths on the roads."

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident as a pedestrian, our specialist road traffic accident solicitors could help you to claim compensation. See our Pedestrian Accident Compensation page for more information.