Injured Lollipop Lady Can Access Care Package After Legal Milestone

Admission of Liability Paves Way for Lawyers To Secure Specialist Rehabilitation and Support


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The husband of a South Tyneside lollipop lady who suffered a severe brain injury after being hit by a car three years ago has expressed his relief after specialist lawyers secured an admission of liability from the driver’s insurers paving the way for a full care and rehabilitation package to be agreed to help her recovery.

Eleanor Harman, 61, from South Shields, was hospitalised for 11 months after being struck while on patrol opposite the house where she lives on the town’s Beach Road on February 2nd 2011.

Driver Margaret Boyles was fined £95 and ordered to pay costs last year after being found guilty of driving without due care and attention in relation to the incident. She also received four penalty points on her licence.

Irwin Mitchell’s serious injury team represents Mrs Harman and her husband, Harry, 72, and is helping them in their battle to access vital funds which will ensure she can get the continuing support she needs to deal with the ongoing effects of her injuries.

Mrs Harman has been left with profound disabilities as a result of the accident; she has difficulties with short-term memory, fatigue and concentration and requires 24 hour support. She has a team of support workers who provide support during both day and at night, as well as receiving specialist physiotherapy and psychological support.

The driver’s insurers originally denied full responsibility for her accident and the case was listed for trial at court but lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have now confirmed that liability has been admitted which means they can now move on to working out exactly what Mrs Harman’s future care needs will be.

John Davis, a Partner in the Serious Injury team at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office who is representing Eleanor, said:

The defendant driver had told police that as she travelled down the road she became blinded by the sun. Expert evidence showed that she was driving at just 17 to 20 mph but that she failed to bring her vehicle to a stop before colliding with Mrs Harman.

John Davis added: “Time and time again we see lives wrecked by people not adhering to the rules of the road. Eleanor was wearing full high-visibility uniform and was carrying her lollipop stick. She was there to be seen but for some reason the Defendant was unable to bring her vehicle to a halt. Hopefully this case highlights to all drivers the consequences of their actions and will prevent people from putting lives at risk through their behaviour on the roads.”

Part-time care worker Eleanor suffered severe memory loss and underwent life-saving surgery as she spent three weeks in a high-dependency unit.

Husband Harry Harman said: “This accident changed our lives forever and we have to deal with the consequences every day as Eleanor’s injuries mean she is simply unable to have the same independence as before.

“We are hugely relieved that we now have an admission of liability as it means we can prepare for the future knowing that my wife will receive the specialist care, support and rehabilitation she needs for the rest of her life.

“Eleanor has already made a remarkable recovery to get to where she is now. She underwent life-saving surgery and it was terrifying. At least now we will be able to access further expert treatment and equipment to help her to live with more independence once again.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Head and Brain Injury Claims.