Cycle accident claim
A former English teacher who suffered head injuries from a cycle accident when a Tokyo taxi driver knocked him from a bicycle has been awarded over a quarter of a million pounds compensation from the Japanese Courts.
Mr Tom Dearnaly, 33, who now lives in Bath, was working in Japan in April 1999 as an English Teacher. Whilst riding a friend's bicycle in Tokyo, Mr Dearnaly turned a corner and was in a collision with a taxi. The actual circumstances of the accident remain unclear. There were no witnesses, the taxi-driver maintained that he did not see Mr Dearnaly, and Mr Dearnaly himself could not recall how the collision occurred.
As a result of the cycle accident Mr Dearnaly suffered head injuries, which has left him with vocal disabilities due to paralysed and damaged vocal chords, plus impairment to his hearing, eyesight, and mobility.
Originally Mr Dearnaly instructed a Japanese lawyer to act directly on his behalf, but he declined to take the case further, due to difficulties in establishing liability.
UK Travel Litigation specialists, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors agreed to take on the case even though there was a suggestion that only a nominal £5,000 sum might be recovered due to the difficulties in establishing liability on the part of the taxi-driver.
The defendant disputed liability throughout the claim, and as a result formal legal proceedings were issued in Japan, following which Mr Dearnaly actually recovered damages of over £270,000.00
Mr Dearnaly commented: "The accident has had a radical effect on my life which has been turned upside down. I cannot do many things I once took for granted and both my professional career and social life have altered a great deal as a result. I am also a lot less active and mobile now. Although no amount of money can compensate for the way my life has been affected as a result of the accident, nevertheless, I am very pleased with the final settlement, particularly as the payment is considerably more than I had initially expected."
Suki Chhokar, a partner with Irwin Mitchell says: "Considering the difficulties in establishing fault on the part of the taxi-driver, the final six-figure award of compensation is an excellent result. We deal with cases for many clients who suffered injury overseas and this can often be highly complex and challenging. The damages that we have won for Tom Dearnaly will help him re-build his life, and compensate him for the pain, suffering and financial losses that he has endured."
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