A pedestrian with learning difficulties who suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a car as he crossed a main road in Peckham has been awarded £147,000 in compensation.
The car hit the man on his left side when he had nearly reached the pavement. He suffered a serious abdominal injury, a minor injury to his head, a broken arm and a broken knee. Although he had to undergo surgery owing to a ruptured stomach ulcer following the trauma of the accident, there were no long-term effects post surgery.
As is often the case, the driver's insurers admitted primary liability but disputed the degree of contributory negligence on the part of the injured man. He had failed to see the approaching vehicle, which he would almost certainly have done had he taken a more careful look to his left as he left the traffic island in the middle of the road. The road is long and straight, so visibility was not an issue. It was therefore accepted that he bore some responsibility for what happened.
However, visibility would not have been an issue for the driver either. It was not as if the man came out of nowhere to cross in front of him. He would have been able to see him for the entire time it took him to cross from one side of the road to the other and he should have had plenty of time to take evasive action, but he failed to react. It emerged that he was travelling at excessive speed and there was little doubt that the accident was primarily his fault.
The insurers offered to settle the man's claim for £100,000, but this was rejected. Strongly presented legal argument secured him a settlement of £147,000.