£1m Awarded to Lindsay
Lindsay Preston was only 18 when, during a driving lesson, she suffered 42% burns to her body including significant burns to her face, scalp, neck, right arm and both hands. In addition, she suffered multiple amputations to her fingers, various neurological injuries and a severe head injury.
Lindsay was injured after the car she was driving during a professional driving lesson emerged from a junction into the path of an oncoming vehicle; it then burst in flames with her trapped inside.
The nursery nurse, from Cornwall, has undergone numerous operations and skin grafts since the accident, which affected her life so drastically she decided to pursue a compensation claim.
Others law firms told Lindsay she had no case because liability was too difficult to prove, but Express Solicitors took on her case and won her £1million in compensation, on the basis that her driving instructor should have operated the brake on the dual control when she realised Lindsay was about to pull out into road. Using advice from an expert engineer and expert driving instructor, the firm proved that if the instructor had applied her own brake, the car would have been able to come to halt in time to prevent the accident.
Lindsay was having one of her final driving lessons before her test when the accident happened in September 2009. At the time, she was studying beauty therapy with the intention of becoming a beauty therapist.
Speaking of the accident, Lindsay said: “I have no memory of it and neither does my driving instructor, but witnesses said I drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle. As there were issues over blame, other firms wouldn’t pursue my case, but the lawyers at Express Solicitors knew their stuff and worked hard to gather evidence that would help. In the end it was decided that liability would be split 50/50 between me and the driving instructor so I got £500,000 of the £1m awarded.
“After the accident, I went through a very rough time but the whole team at Express Solicitors got me through by being compassionate, helpful and informative. They explained everything to me and always kept me up-to-date, so I felt comfortable I was in safe hands.
“I’m delighted with the compensation amount; I’m very happy with the outcome as it will make a huge difference to my future. I didn’t think I would get any financial help at all so I’d started planning my life around my injuries with this in mind. To know I can afford help and stop worrying so much has lifted a big rain cloud from over my head.
“There was a point when I was in so much pain, I’d lost the career I’d trained for and I was told I didn’t have a case that I thought ‘is it worth getting better as it’s not going to be much of a life?’ Due to my severe burns, I’m no longer very dextrous so being a beautician would have been impossible; even simple household tasks can be hard. However, thanks to Express Solicitors fighting my corner to get me the compensation I deserve, life will be a little easier for me as I can afford to get the help I need.”
The award of compensation included an award for the injuries sustained as well as claims for past and future loss of earnings and past and future care and assistance.