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Written on 10th May 2021 by Claire Roantree

Boyes Turner’s personal injury claims lawyers secured a settlement of £60,000 for the injured passenger of an HGV driver who lost control of his lorry. Two pedestrians were killed in the same accident. In a criminal trial, the defendant HGV driver was convicted of causing death by careless and dangerous driving, whilst under the influence for drugs including heroin and crack cocaine. 

Our client (the passenger) suffered severe fractures of the tibia and fibula (bones of the lower leg). The tibial fracture extended into the ankle joint. The broken bones needed treatment with an external fixator. She was left with scarring on her leg and foot from the fixator and from skin grafting, and ongoing problems in the foot and ankle. She walks with a limp and has a shortened leg. She also suffered from pain in her back and hip, and a laceration to her thigh. The accident and her injuries caused her to suffer a psychological injury, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

After the defendant HGV driver’s conviction in the criminal trial, his insurers admitted primary liability (main responsibility) for the accident, but a 50% deduction for our client’s own contributory negligence was agreed. Our client was a passenger in the lorry, and was not in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident. However, she was aware that the driver was under the influence of drugs and had, unsuccessfully, tried to stop him driving his HGV. She had then allowed herself to be driven by him and had not been wearing a seatbelt in the HGV. 

Once liability was admitted we obtained Rehabilitation Code funding from the driver’s insurers to pay for an immediate needs assessment (INA) which recommended that our client needed rehabilitation treatment, including orthotics and physiotherapy. However, the insurers disputed the cause of our client’s psychological injury and refused to pay for rehabilitation. 

Whilst we prepared to issue court proceedings, the insurers offered to settle the case at £60,000, (after the 50% reduction and net of repayable benefits) and our client chose to accept it. We arranged for her compensation fund to be protected by paying it into personal injury trust. The trust will preserve her ongoing entitlement to state benefits, whilst providing funding for further treatment and rehabilitation.