A young woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit by a speeding car whilst crossing the road. Truth Legal helped her to make a pedestrian road traffic accident claim – and successfully recovered over £390,000 in compensation for her.
Hit at high speed
Jasmine* was a student at the time of the accident, and was on her way to her part-time job. It was early in the morning and still quite dark. She was on her phone to one of her friends as she walked. When she reached a pedestrian crossing, she pressed the button and waited.
The road she was crossing was made up of two lanes, and was just off a major junction. Jasmine looked and it appeared that the way was clear so she began to cross, even though the green signal for pedestrians had not yet appeared. She had almost reached the centre line between the two lanes when suddenly a car came across the junction at speed, around a slight bend in the road. She saw the car coming on quickly but in a panic she stepped backwards. The car hit her at somewhere between 30 and 40mph. She was thrown into the air by the force of the collision, her head hitting the car’s windscreen and bonnet, before landing some distance from the front of the vehicle as it screeched to a halt.
A bus driver who had seen the accident came to give assistance, as did an off-duty first-aider. They found Jasmine lying unconscious in the road. The first-aider put her into the recovery position and another passer-by called an ambulance and the police.
Jasmine was rushed to hospital whilst the police began an investigation at the scene.
Jasmine would spend the next 2 months in hospital.
When she was first admitted, she was found to have suffered a traumatic brain injury with some haemorrhaging. She also sustained fractures to her pelvis, right knee, and breastbone; and a laceration to her liver. Her doctors were worried that Jasmine would not survive her injuries.
To help with her breathing and oxygen intake, the hospital performed a tracheostomy on Jasmine. This involves inserting a tube into the windpipe by making an opening in the neck.
Eventually, thanks to the hospital’s care, Jasmine’s condition improved and she was able to be discharged.
Truth Legal is instructed
Jasmine’s brother initially contacted Truth Legal while Jasmine was still in hospital. Experienced personal injury solicitor Helen Beaumont discussed Jasmine’s situation and gave advice. Then several months later, when Jasmine was out of hospital and feeling a bit more settled, Helen was able to take Jasmine’s instructions and begin her claim.
Helen set about documenting Jasmine’s injuries by obtaining independent medical reports and gathering evidence on the circumstances of the accident.
Longer-term effects of the accident
Although Jasmine had made a remarkable recovery after the accident, because of the serious injuries she had sustained, she continued to suffer from significant long-term effects.
She had no memory of the accident or its aftermath. The first thing she remembered after the accident was waking up in hospital nearly 2 months after it happened. This was despite the fact she had been conscious during her time in hospital, albeit in a very confused state. And in the months that followed, she noticed other problems with her short-term memory and cognitive function.
The tracheostomy had caused damage to her vocal cords. This continued to affect the tone and quality of her voice and she found she could not raise her voice or shout.
She also had persistent ongoing neck pain and symptoms affecting her knee and lower back.
Psychologically, she experienced a pervasive sense of anxiety, worry, and depressed mood and some suicidal thoughts.
And all of this affected Jasmine’s life considerably. In the months immediately after leaving hospital, she couldn’t climb stairs and needed a stick to get around, and required help from her mother and her housemates with all kinds of daily tasks. Her studies for her master’s degree were also placed on hold for over 2 months and she was unable to work at her part-time job for roughly 8 months.
Criminal charges against the driver
After the police’s investigation, the driver of the vehicle which hit Jasmine was charged with driving without reasonable consideration for other persons. However, the charge was withdrawn on the day of the court hearing when a key prosecution witness did not turn up.
The driver’s insurance company accepted that their insured held some fault for the accident, but alleged that Jasmine had been negligent of her own safety as well, in crossing the road without a green pedestrian signal, and because she was speaking on her phone at the time.
Settling the claim
The driver’s insurers offered to settle Jasmine’s claim so that she would receive £391,124.70. In addition to this sum, they agreed to fund her neuropsychological therapy – which had been recommended in one of the expert medical reports to help with the ongoing cognitive symptoms she was experiencing – and the last few speech therapy sessions that Jasmine had been attending.
Jasmine instructed Helen that she would like to accept the offer and settle her claim on that basis.
Helen commented on how important it was to achieve a good outcome for Jasmine:
“This was an extremely serious road accident with potentially devastating consequences. Initially, there was grave concern as to whether or not Jasmine would survive, and if so, to what extent she would recover. The accident happened at a crucial time in her studies, and throughout her recovery period Jasmine has been particularly anxious about the impact of her injuries on her long-term career prospects. With sheer determination, together with the help and support of family members and rehabilitation providers, Jasmine is now looking forward to the future, focusing on her career path, and doing her best to put this terrible accident behind her.”
Have you been injured by a vehicle whilst out walking?
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident as a pedestrian, you can find out more about making a personal injury claim on our pedestrian accidents page, or you can get in contact with us to discuss your situation.
*All names have been changed to maintain the confidentiality of our client