Beware: Court’s Harsh Decision against Seriously Injured Pedestrian

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Case Example: Sallah v Mahmood – June 2022 A serious life changing head injury was dismissed by HHJ Bird following a liability trial.

A serious injury claim after a Pedestrian was hurt with life changing injuries and should have received around £500,000 in compensation failed at Court following a fault- liability trial.

This case was not handled by Claim Today but by another firm of Lawyers.

Claim Today examines what went wrong for this Pedestrian and how you can ensure your case succeeds and we give you advice to protect your compensation rights. The Claim Time is now if you are hurt as a Pedestrian call 0800 29 800 29 or email info@claimtoday.com

The Accident

At 7.30pm on 8th June 2018, the Pedestrian and two companions had got off a bus heading out of Birmingham. They all crossed the busy dual carriageway of the A456 Hagley Road and started walking along the wide central reservation with the intention of crossing the remainder of the dual caraway to reach the other side.

The Hagley Road is a main west bound roads into and out of Birmingham and is very busy all day and night. At the point at which this accident occurred, there are four lanes in the eastbound direction. There was a Pedestrian Traffic Light crossing some 25 metres away from the Pedestrian.

Two of the three women with the injured party managed to cross safely and reach the other side of the dual carriageway. The Pedestrian suffered injury and was struck by a car driven by Mrs Mahmood. The two women who had made it across the dual carriageway did not seethe accident and could not say if the car was driving safely car or estimate its speed.

The Evidence

The Car Driver said she had been driving in lane three and had moved into lane two, also that here was a line of traffic in lane one which obscured her view of the central reservation and therefore should could not have seen the Injured Pedestrian before the collision.

One of the vehicles in lane one was a taxi. The Car Driver Insurance company traced the passenger but not the Taxi driver, this was a critical omission.

The passenger said that the first he knew of anything of an emergency was when the taxi  made an emergency stop to avoid hitting the Pedestrian, then he saw her being hit by the Driver.

The Pedestrian witness said that Driver had stopped some distance beyond the taxi, but the taxi passenger said that Driver had stopped almost alongside the taxi, this was a clear contradiction.

It was the case for the Injured Pedestrian and confirmed by also alleged by one of the witnesses that the traffic lights had been showing red for the driver in oncoming traffic at the time of the Pedestrian was hit.

Importantly the Court was not helpful to the Injured Pedestrian early on and Appeal might have been made, the Pedestrian Solicitors applied for permission to use accident reconstruction evidence. The Court did not allow this and instead said all parties must rely on witness evidence only upon was solely that of the various lay witnesses.

The Pedestrian had unfortunately suffered a serious head injury in the accident and could not recall anything about it, she could not give any evidence.

The Trial

The court ordered a trial on liability – fault only to see if there was any claim. which was heard on May 5th 2022.

At the trial The Pedestrians Barrister made clear an important contradiction between what Driver had told the police immediately after the accident about her speed at the point of impact (30mph) and what she later said in her statement to the Insurance company (20-25mph). This was good evidence that not only could and should Driver have seen the Pedestrian but also had she been driving slower she would have avoided the collision entirely or been able to brake and reduce the seriousness of the impact.

The Barrister also very well pointed out  the evidence from one the witnesses that the lights had been on red when the Pedestrian started to cross the road. This was important and powerful evidence which the Judge did not properly take account or did not chose to rely on in making his decision in favour of the Insurance Company. A bad decision by the Judge for a big business Insurance Company against a seriously injured Pedestrian.

The Barrister for the Insurance company said he considered the poor quality of the witness evidence and the fact that there was no expert evidence made the claim by the pedestrian weak and Without expert evidence about how the accident happened she could not win the case.

The Bad decision: Judge decides against a seriously Injured Pedestrian

The judge held the Pedestrian was at fault and thus liable for her serous injuries and horribly dismissed the claim against the Insurance Company allowing them to avoid paying out.

The Judge incredibly decided that the traffic lights were on green for Driver at the critical time just before the driver hit the Pedestrian at speed, he said neither the Driver nor the taxi were in the process of slowing down, even though they were only 25 metres or so from the junction and even though the taxi driver had not been traced or given any evidence.

The Judge, disregarding the reality of driving, said had the lights been on red as alleged by the Pedestrian then the driver would have collided with the vehicles in front, however we all know in reality people do drive fast and brake very hard when speeding thus avoiding any such collision.

The judge also said the actual speed did not matter and there was no evidence on this point in any event.

The Judge also said had he been required to rule on whether contributory negligence (part fault) was applicable, he would have found none against Driver. However very importantly the Insurance Company had conceded that, had the judge found for the Pedestrian or even part fault by the driver then this would have been accepted by the Insurance company on a 50/50 basis.

Conclusion: What can we learn from this case: Make sure the claim time is now and you come to Claim Today where we will try very hard to succeed with your Pedestrian claim:

Points to Note from this case:

  • Just because a pedestrian has injury and a serious injury it does not mean that getting compensation is a foregone conclusion. You need Claim Today on your side since 1999 fighting for clients to make sure you have every chance to win
  • The Courts do not always deliver justice or fairness and often get it wrong – The Judge is most often white, male from the establishment and of a privileged background and cannot easily sympathise with ordinary people who make claims for compensation – they may also be influenced by the past false claims in the press of a compensation culture
  • You need a good established firm of Solicitors who has been fighting for Personal Injury clients since 1999 and will increase your chances of winning by “covering every base”
  • Expert evidence i.e., from a road reconstruction expert in a case of serious injury like this is essential and the case should not proceed to trial without this
  • It was important to appeal and try again where the Judge had not allowed expert evidence – Claim Today would not proceed to trial without this evidence
  • Huge efforts via social media, TV and on ground, stopping traffic in that area, all needed to be done to find more witnesses, also a camera recording the speed of cars along that dual carriageway should have been used to show that many do drive fast and this could have helped challenge the evidence on speed.
  • The Taxi driver should have been found, his evidence could have made a big difference and helped the Pedestrian case.
  • The Dual Carriageway is very busy and with a serious accident others must have seen what happened, more witnesses to confirm the driver was speeding would have helped
  • CCTV footage may have been available from the Council Traffic Cameras or from Delivery Drivers in the area
  • Investigation into the road works in that area which have been present for over 2 years might have helped in showing why Pedestrians were having to cross the Dual carriageway – The Council should have been asked to provide disclosure
  • Medical Evidence to support the Pedestrians cognitive function before and after the accident might have helped to show that when the accident happened the Pedestrian was alert, active and cogent and unlikely to simply run out in front of a speeding car
  • Delaying the Liability trial due to the Pedestrian medical condition and seeing if there was any improvement in memory and providing more time to gather evidence may have assisted
  • There have been other similar cases where the Big Business and the establishment  often supported by Judges favouring the insurance Companies against ordinary people. We can see recent claims by pedestrians have been dismissed. In Vincent v Walker and Anor [2021] EWHC 536 (QB) the claimant was struck by D’s vehicle when two thirds the way  across a staggered Pedestrian crossing and in Chan v Peters [2021] EWHC 2004 (QB) the claimant was severely injured after being struck by a car whilst he was crossing the road outside his school. Despite this the Pedestrians were made to fail by the Court.

Pedestrian accident or Injury claim time is now, call Claim Today as soon as possible to ensure we can preserve evidence and take necessary steps to ensure you win your case and receive your entitlement to Compensation

Injured or Hurt crossing the road as a Pedestrian: Claim Today Backing you 100% since 1999 call now 0800 29 800 29

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