Crash Victim Still Suffering Three Years After Dangerous Driver ‘Turned Life Upside Down’

Motorists Urged To Take Care

06.01.2011

Lawyers representing a young Rotherham man who suffered serious injuries when a car mounted the pavement while attempting a handbrake turn have urged motorists to take care on the roads. 

Ashley Barratt, from Wath-upon-Dearne, was sent catapulting through the air when the driver, Benjamin Court, lost control of his car on Fitzwilliam Road.

Mr Barratt suffered fractures to his ankle that were so severe he had to undergo a number of surgical procedures and, three years on, is still forced to endure painful rehabilitation and has been unable to return to work.

The 22 year old contacted law firm Irwin Mitchell for help after the ordeal which ‘turned his life upside down’, and he hopes that by speaking out he can help demonstrate the dangers of driving dangerously and  prevent others suffering.

Mr Barratt said: “I was standing on the pavement talking to a friend who was in a parked car when a car appeared to come out of nowhere and knocked me over.

“The injury has been devastating and is so bad I’ve not been able to go back to work. Although I previously worked in a call centre, I now struggle to walk and can only drive for ten or fifteen minutes at maximum, which has made it very difficult for me to find another job.

“You just don’t think something like this is going to happen to you and turn your life upside down. It’s been devastating.”

Mr Court was later found guilty of dangerous driving at Rotherham Magistrates Court and fined.

Nicola Meese, a road traffic collision specialist at Irwin Mitchell, negotiated an out-of-court settlement of £75,000 with the driver’s insurers on behalf of Mr Barratt, which will go towards his rehabilitation needs and covering the costs of his lost earnings.

Nicola Meese said: “The last few years have been a nightmare for Ashley. Through no fault of his own he was badly injured, and this will have a permanent impact on his life.

“Thankfully we have managed to secure funds to cover the costs of the rehabilitation and the earnings he has lost from being out of work for so long, and hopefully this will help him to get his life back on track.

“Motorists need to remember they have a responsibility to drive carefully and safely, and must be aware that all too often dangerous driving results in disastrous consequences for the victims.

“There is nothing clever about attempting unnecessary stunts like handbrake turns – it demonstrates a complete disregard for the safety of others and puts the lives and wellbeing of innocent people at risk.”