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Court puts West Sussex ‘dangerous driver’ behind bars but victim’s fight for injury compensation goes on

05th October 2018

For accident victims who have suffered life-changing injury the fight for justice can be a long and arduous process but, despite the constant reminders their injuries bring, most of our clients are focussed positively on getting their lives back – although many find it hard to come to terms with the limitations of the criminal justice system. Too frequently, it seems, drivers who have caused road collisions resulting in devastating injuries are let off lightly by the courts, and even convicted offenders are ultimately able to rebuild their lives relatively unscathed, unlike the injured victims they left in their wake.

It was perhaps heartening, therefore, to hear the outcome of a recent criminal case that may serve as a warning to others. While driving home one summer night last year, our client’s car was hit head-on and smashed into a ditch by a high-powered 4×4 being driven at great speed. Having remained trapped for some time in the smashed wreckage of his car, as a result of the accident our client lost his right leg, amputated just below the knee – the other driver fled the scene and turned up at work the next day with a fabricated story about his car being stolen by an unidentified thief who caused the accident. He maintained this lie for a year until he was forced by the weight of painstaking police forensic evidence finally to admit he was the driver. He eventually pleaded guilty to a number of offences including causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Now that criminal justice has been achieved, the fight for financial compensation goes on and our client, with his cheerful and positive outlook, is continuing to rebuild his life. He is determined to return to his pre-accident activities including football, mountain-walking and cycling and, in a bid to regain as much leg function as possible without adding to the existing pressures on the National Health Service, he is being assessed privately for his first prosthetic limb.

Although dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, especially when they prove reluctant to accept responsibility for making interim payments or to engage in the rehabilitation process, we find that our clients’ inspirational bravery eventually tends to win through.

For more information about personal injury law or for advice and support after being injured in an accident that was not your fault, contact the George Ide team on 01243 786668 or email us at info@georgeide.co.uk.

Paul Fretwell. Partner, Personal Injury department


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