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Accident Victim Warns Motorists To Be Vigilant During Icy Weather

Woman Suffered Serious Injuries After Driver Didn’t Defrost Car


A woman left unconscious and with serious, life changing injuries after she was hit by an ‘irresponsible driver’ who only defrosted his windscreen enough to see the road directly ahead of him has called on motorists to take extra care to protect other road users during the colder months. 

Elizabeth Harris was removing the ice from her own windscreen before leaving for work when the passing car ploughed into her and her vehicle, throwing her to the ground outside her house in North Petherton, Somerset in December 2010.

Unaware of the devastation caused by the collision, the passing driver simply stopped to leave a note explaining he had hit another vehicle when he found the 38-year-old lying in the road, bleeding and unconscious.

Mrs Harris, who works in Import Documentation for DHL has since called on serious injury and road collision experts at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office to help with her battle for justice, and to ensure she has access to the rehabilitation she now needs to get her life back on track.

Elizabeth was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton where she was treated for serious orthopaedic injuries to her leg, hands and shoulder as well as a brain injury, from which she is still recovering. She has undergone surgery to her shoulder and required steroid injections to help with her ongoing pain.

Deborah Bigwood, a Solicitor in the Serious Injuries team at Irwin Mitchell praised Elizabeth’s determination to rebuild her life and said that her progress had been remarkable, but went on to say that the serious head injury she sustained during the incident  had caused her ongoing problems at work and at home.

Deborah said: “Elizabeth has made great progress both physically and psychologically but the fact remains that the injuries she sustained, which could so easily have been avoided, have left her fighting to return to normality both professionally and socially.

“She now needs access to specialist rehabilitation and we are working to ensure she gets the very best care to aid her with her recovery. We’re pleased the driver’s insurance company accepted liability ensuring we can work with Elizabeth towards some sort of justice.”

Despite returning to work shortly after the accident Mrs Harris has faced a year of ongoing problems and appointments with numerous specialists as she has battled to return to full health. She still requires regular treatment for her physiotherapy to treat her shoulder injury.

She said: “Thanks to the irresponsible actions of one driver I have virtually lost the past year of my life. Both the physical and psychological injuries I suffered through no fault of my own have turned my life upside down.

“I just want other motorists to see what has happened to me and learn from it. Some very simple steps to clear the windscreen of ice before setting off could have made all the difference. I would not have been injured at all.”

This call was supported by Deborah who said: “It is of particular importance during the colder months that all motorists take extra care ensuring every step is taken to make their car safe to drive. In the hurry to get to work it might be tempting to try and save time, but what happened to Elizabeth shows the terrible effects this can have. 

“Allowing an extra 10 minutes to clear all windscreens and windows of ice will help to ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians and other road users.”