Express Solicitors win landmark case for amputee victim against Arriva
Jacquelin Brown stepped off the kerb into the path of a bus pulling into a stop. Not only did the impact knock her forward, but the bus hit her a second time, with the nearside wheel running over her legs. The severe damage led to Jacquelin needing her left leg amputated and leaving her right leg with disabling injuries.
She then received some harsh treatment in her legal battle against the bus company. Previous solicitors and defendants denied her claims for compensation as a pedestrian as it was argued that the incident was entirely her fault.
Ms Brown contacted us for a second opinion and we took on one of the largest transport companies in the country in successfully arguing her case. A monumental victory for the firm and for Jacquelin, it provides hope for future victims of any similar cases moving forward.
Playing the blame game
Prior to being represented by us, Ms Brown was represented by a senior catastrophic lawyer from another law firm who advised that her case did not warrant accident reconstruction investigations.
Not content with this assessment, she approached Express Solicitors road traffic accident claims department. As soon as he saw the police video of the incident, partner Daniel Slade immediately ascertained that her previous representatives had missed a crucial component to the case. The focus had been too much on the initial collision which, it had been argued, was the fault of the Claimant.
Daniel and the Express Solicitors team argued that even if she was to blame for the initial collision with the front of the bus, the driver should have stopped before it ran over her legs. He argued that the driver had adequate time to do so and if he was paying close enough attention, Ms Brown’s catastrophic injuries could have been avoided. On this basis, we instructed a reconstruction specialist.
Liability on the case was still denied and fought throughout, and a lengthy legal battle ensued over technicalities, with the reconstruction proving critical.
An incredible victory for Ms Brown and the team
Eventually, in the High Court, we succeeded by convincing the judge that when pulling into a busy high street, the following factors must be taken into account:
- The driver should be able to react to such emergencies in less than one second
- 8mph is too fast, 5mph was the appropriate speed
- The driver should be breaking with full force
- The driver should be looking predominantly at the people on the pavement
Daniel Slade and the team convinced the judge that if the driver had adhered to all of the above, then he wouldn’t have hit the claimant a second time, leading to the terrible damage to her legs and subsequent amputation.
Commenting on the judgment, Daniel said: “We were the first to see that even if our client was to blame for the first collision, if the bus driver had been driving non-negligently, he would have seen her and reacted in time to prevent that second contact. It is only because we saw this that she will receive the compensation she deserves to deal with these life changing injuries.”