Serious Injury Lawyers From Irwin Mitchell Urge Motorists To Drive More Carefully After Victim Suffers “Life Changing Injuries” In Crash
A woman who was hospitalised for eight days when she was knocked down by an uninsured driver is urging the CPS to be tougher on those who commit driving offences. Her call comes after the driver that caused her injuries escaped without a driving ban.
Jane Pratt, aged 50, from Wakefield, was left with a string of injuries including fractures to her skull, pelvis and ankle when she was run over on a zebra crossing in Bradford Road on 7 December 2010.
Even though a judge at Batley and Dewsbury Magistrates court ruled that the driver, who was driving his uncle’s car and was uninsured, was at fault for the crash, the judge was unable to hand out a driving ban because the driver had only been charged with careless driving.
Instead Afzal Ebrahim Shaikh, from Batley, was ordered to pay a £1,000 fine and given eight penalty points on his licence, while his uncle, Bashir Raheman, was given a £335 fine and six penalty points for allowing his nephew to drive the car while uninsured.
Serious injury experts from law firm Irwin Mitchell are also working to secure a rehabilitation package for Mrs Pratt who is still suffering from her injuries six months after the accident.
She said: “I am extremely disappointed at the sentence given to the driver who caused my injuries, and feel that this is extremely lenient given the complete disregard for the law he showed. Not only was he driving carelessly but he was driving while uninsured.
“This isn’t meant to be a criticism of the magistrate who handed down the sentence; as at the moment the law only allows a driving ban to be given if a driver is convicted of dangerous driving. What I don’t understand is why he wasn’t charged with dangerous driving.
“This accident has had an enormous impact on our lives and we feel the very least the Mr Shaikh deserved is a driving ban. I will have to live with my injuries forever when the man who caused my injuries was allowed to continue to drive and get on with his life as normal. It’s just unfair.”
Shortly after the accident Mrs Pratt had to be taken by ambulance to Dewsbury and District Hospital, where scans revealed she had suffered fractures to her skull, pelvis and ankle, as well as other orthopaedic injuries and bruises over her entire body.
She was forced to remain in hospital for eight days before returning home to the care of her husband – who also suffered significant emotional distress as he witnessed the accident as he waited to collect his wife from work.
Six months on and Mrs Pratt has only recently begun a phased return to work on a part-time basis. Her social life has also been restricted and she has been unable to care for her young grandson, who she used to look after on a weekly basis prior to the accident.
Serious injury experts from Irwin Mitchell are now working to secure funds to pay for specialist equipment which will help her with day to day life, such as a remote controlled adjustable bed and a chair to help her get in and out of the bath. Irwin Mitchell is also working to arrange private therapy to aid her recovery.
Charlotte Foster, a solicitor in the Serious Injury team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mrs Pratt suffered life changing injuries as a result of an accident that was in no way her fault, and no matter what penalty the driver received her injuries could never have been reversed.
“The important thing now is to ensure that she is able to access the rehabilitation and specialist equipment she needs to help re-build her life, and to live with the injuries she has suffered.
“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.
“Reckless driving demonstrates a complete disregard for the safety of others and puts the lives and wellbeing of innocent people at risk.”