Pensioner Knocked Down By Van Awarded Six-Figure Settlement

Serious Injury Experts Secure Care Package For Road Injury Victim


The daughter of a pensioner who was ‘robbed of his independence’ when he was knocked down by a van has spoken of her relief after he was granted a six-figure settlement at the High Court today (28 November) to fund his future care.

Arthur McCarten, from Chiddingfold in Surrey, now struggles to walk and needs specialist care in a nursing home for the rest of his life as a result of the catalogue of injuries he suffered when he was struck by a British Gas van as he crossed the road to meet his son for lunch in September 2011.

The 84-year-old’s daughter Elizabeth McCarten, who Arthur lived with before the incident, instructed serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell who secured him a care package of £300,000 from Centrica PLC, owners of British Gas, which was approved at the High Court in London today to fund his care home fees and rehabilitation.

The driver of the British Gas van was talking on his hands-free mobile phone kit when he hit Arthur, who had nearly reached the pavement, on the High Street in Haslemere.

Arthur spent over a month in St George’s Hospital where he was treated for a fractured pelvis, multiple rib fractures, a collapsed lung, a bleed to the brain and multiple cuts and bruises. He was then moved to the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford where he spent another three weeks before being moved to Milford Rehabilitation Centre for physiotherapy and further treatment.

However his condition worsened to the point where he could no longer walk without a frame and the brain injury made him very forgetful so, four months after the incident, he was transferred to a nursing home.

Natalie Spurrier, a serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office representing the family, said: “Arthur suffered horrific injuries after being hit by the van and because of his age he will never fully recover from these.

“We are contacted time and time again by people who have been injured by motorists as they cross the road. Whilst using a hands-free mobile phone kit is still legal, drivers who use them need to be particularly aware, especially when driving through residential areas that their full attention is on the road and the pedestrians and vehicles around them.

“The settlement approved today gives Arthur’s family peace of mind that he will be provided with the care and support he needs by professional workers for the rest of his life.”

Elizabeth McCarten said: “Dad had a good quality of life until he was hit by the van. He would get out and about most days and was still very involved in family life, but his injuries have robbed him of his independence.

“'The staff at his nursing home do a fantastic job but he should be enjoying his home and time with his friends.

“His serious injuries show drivers the possible consequences of not paying full attention to the road, even when travelling at slow speeds and the importance of being aware of pedestrians, particularly on busy shopping streets.

“Nothing can turn back the clock or reverse Dad’s injuries. The accident changed all our family's lives completely. But at least the settlement means our father will always have the care and support he needs. We want to thank Irwin Mitchell for their professionalism and commitment to dad throughout.”