A West Midlands man has successfully claimed damages from his employers in respect of injuries he sustained when he fell asleep at the wheel of his transit van. His employers had required him to work excessively long hours and drive very long distances daily over many weeks.
The cumulative effect of this was to cause severe fatigue to the Claimant so that he was not safe to be driving. The inevitable happened and he fell asleep at the wheel, the vehicle rolling over and leaving the carriageway. No other vehicle was involved. Severe orthopaedic injuries were sustained, which sadly developed complications leading to a below knee amputation. Compensation was agreed at £570,000 in an out of Court settlement.
Stephen Nye of Irwin Mitchell's Birmingham office advised the client and commented, "it is well recognised that driver fatigue is a major cause of accidents on our roads. This is recognised in some areas with heavy regulation, for example with HGV vehicles. With unregulated vehicles the dangers still remain and employers have a duty to ensure that all employees driving in the course of their work are given sensible driving schedules and allowed time to take breaks on longer journeys. The failure to address these matters in this case led to this serious incident".
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