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Liability Admitted After Family Injured In Gran Canaria Taxi Crash

Specialist Law Firm Secure Admission After Taxi Driver loses control of his vehicle


A British family, who were injured when a taxi driver in Gran Canaria lost control of his vehicle on the way to the airport, have spoken of their relief at reaching the next step in their legal battle for justice after hearing that the driver’s insurers have now admitted liability for the accident.

Specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have been instructed by the family from Poole following a crash during a taxi ride back to Las Palmas airport in Gran Canaria.

Elaine Whale, 44, husband Dean, 41, and their daughters Katherine, 8, and Lucy, 4, were travelling back to Las Palmas airport after a family holiday when the taxi driver lost control of the vehicle and smashed into a concrete wall.

Fortunately Katherine, Lucy and Dean were lucky enough to sustain only minor injuries; however Elaine suffered more severe damage needing emergency surgery.

Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have now secured an admission of liability from the driver’s insurance company which will now enable them to agree a settlement to help cover Elaine’s four months off work and specialist treatment and rehabilitation for her injuries.

The accident, which took place on 25 August 2012, caused Elaine a major abdominal injury which required surgery and has left her with large scars both physically and mentally. Although husband and father Dean returned to work to continue to support his family, he did suffer neck, shoulder and knee injuries.

Speaking about her ordeal, Elaine said: “I honestly thought I was going to die, it’s true what they say about your life flashing before your eyes. One minute we were talking about our lovely holiday and the next the taxi driver lost control of the car and collided with a concrete wall.  My little girls could have been killed.

“I was in sheer agony after the crash and we were rushed straight to hospital. It was then that we were told that I would require surgery. Now I have been left with horrible scars and constantly re-live the accident in my head.

“What was originally supposed to be a lovely family holiday turned out to be a nightmare because of the crash and the impact it has had on my life. We’ve now instructed Irwin Mitchell to help seek justice for me and my family.”

Elaine, who worked as a veterinary nurse, was not able to return to work until four months after the accident, and when she did return, it was as a receptionist and not a veterinary nurse. She was unable to sleep in her bed due to the fear of her husband rolling over onto her and aggravating her injuries, and therefore spent months sleeping away from her family, on the sofa. She also spent less time with her family due to fatigue and tiredness.

Philip Banks, an expert travel lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: "The taxi driver’s insurers have now accepted that he was responsible for the accident which put the lives of his passengers in significant danger.

"The impact was so severe that it caused Mrs Whale serious injuries that required emergency surgery. This has significantly impacted on the life of the family as Elaine was unable to return to work for months and is still suffering with ongoing effects of her injuries.

"Now that the insurers have admitted responsibility we can now look to arrange further rehabilitation for Elaine and then seek to agree a settlement to compensate Elaine and her family for the injuries and impact that the crash has had on their lives.

"We are fortunate in that we are able to bring Court proceedings for Mrs Whale and her family in England as a result of changes in the rules on jurisdiction brought about by the European Court of Justice decision in the case of FBTO Schadeverzekeringen NV v Jack Odenbreit.

"It is much easier to pursue a claim in the English Courts rather than having to bring legal action in Gran Canaria, with the additional costs and delay that would be involved in doing so."