Woman Issues Safety Plea During Road Safety Week After Instructing Irwin Mitchell
A woman has spoken for the first time about her four-year battle for overcome a traumatic brain injury suffered when she was knocked down by a bus in a pedestrianised area.
Diana Gonzalez is still suffering from serious memory and cognitive problems following the collision which happened in dark and wet conditions near Norwich Castle in Norwich city centre.
Following the collision, Diana aged 38, instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help establish liability and access funds to put rehabilitation in place to maximise her recovery.
Diana is now using Road Safety Week to speak for the first time about her fight to try and regain full health and warn motorists to take care on the roads, particularly in pedestrianised areas and when in dark and wet conditions.
Recalling the collision she said: “I was around halfway across the road when I suddenly became aware of a bus on my left. I tried to jump out of the way but there was no time.
“I recall seeing the lights of the bus but do not remember anything else until I regained consciousness. The first thing I remember was a man asking if I was okay. I was lying in the road with my head on the surface.”
Diana, from Walthamstow, East London, had been visiting Norwich for a weekend break with her partner Marc Regan, 45, on 26 January 2014. At the time of the collision Castle Meadow was wholly pedestrianised. However, taxis and buses were allowed to use the street as were vehicles for loading.
The collision with a First Eastern Counties bus happened when Diana was crossing a speed table – a section of road raised to the same level as the pavement which creates a natural crossing point for pedestrians - at around 4.30pm.
She was taken to hospital for treatment for her head injury and discharged following a scan. However, Diana, who had suffered from vomiting, dizziness, headaches and confusion, returned to hospital the next day as her symptoms had persisted. She was again discharged.
Doctors recalled Diana to hospital on 28 January after a review of her scan showed she had suffered a bleed on the brain. She was admitted for treatment and spent three days in hospital.
As a result of the collision, Diana was unable to return to employment until early 2015 but has since struggled due to her symptoms of memory loss, confusion, balance difficulties and fatigue which have adversely affected her aspirations to qualify as an accountant.
Bus company First Eastern Counties denied liability for the collision. The case was taken to the High Court where judgment was entered for Diana on a split liability basis and the Judge awarded Diana the money to help with her treatment.
She added: “What might have seemed a minor collision at the time has resulted in nearly four years of hurt and frustration. I am not the person I used to be.
“My cognitive difficulties mean I struggle with everyday tasks which others take for granted and this has impacted both my private and working life.
“I would urge drivers to remain vigilant on the roads at all times and reduce their speed, especially when it’s dark and wet when it’s harder to see pedestrians.”
Jack Sales, expert serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell is representing Diana.
While Diana may look well physically, her Traumatic Brain Injury is still having a profound effect on her nearly four years on from the collision.
Expert OpinionWhile some physical injuries may heal in a few months, a brain injury can have a lasting effect. Securing funds for rehabilitation can help maximise recovery.
We fully support Diana’s appeal for drivers to take care, especially in pedestrianised areas and when the conditions are dark and wet. Jack Sales - Chartered Legal Executive
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling road accident claims.