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Written on 16th August 2023 by Kim Milan

Boyes Turner’s personal injury solicitors secured an out-of-court settlement for a passenger who was injured when the drunk driver lost control of the car whilst being chased by the police.

Our client was wearing a seatbelt in the front passenger seat and was trapped in the car when it caught fire after hitting a tree. In the criminal proceedings which followed the accident, the defendant driver was convicted of dangerous driving.

Our client suffered lower limb injuries, including a right talar neck (ankle) fracture and nondisplaced right lateral malleolus fracture (base of the tibia), as well as lacerations (cuts), bruising and a psychological injury. We arranged for our client to undergo an immediate needs assessment (INA) to plan further rehabilitation and treatment options. This confirmed that our client’s injuries are expected to respond well to surgical debridement (removal) of scarring within the ankle and psychological treatment.

We notified the driver’s insurers of our client’s intention to pursue a compensation claim, and they made a reasonable but time-limited offer of compensation, in order to bring the claim to a swift conclusion.

There was a significant litigation risk to our client in pursuing the claim further, arising from evidence suggesting that it should have been obvious, following the events of the long, social evening, that the driver was over the legal drink-drive alcohol limit. In these circumstances, the court may significantly reduce the injured passenger’s compensation on the basis that they should not have allowed themselves to be driven by someone whom they knew or suspected to be under the influence of alcohol.

In this case, the potential impact of a reduction in the value of the claim for contributory negligence, together with our client’s good prognosis and minimal financial loss arising from the accident, were all factors that had to be considered in advising our client about the potential risks and benefits of rejecting the offer and allowing the court to assess the value of the claim. After careful consideration, our client instructed us to accept the insurer’s offer, resulting in an early final settlement of the claim. 

Our client kindly wrote to Kim Milan, after the conclusion of the claim:

“I know it is your job, but you have been so kind to me, you have helped me in my recovery by supporting me and standing by me and understanding how this tragic night has changed my life. I really believe without you things would be a lot worse. I cannot thank you enough for everything you've done.”

If you have been seriously injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault and you would like to find out more about funded rehabilitation or making a claim, you can talk to one of our experienced solicitors, free and confidentially, by contacting us here.