Herma Hirst unravelled an insurance tangle to secure compensation for pedestrian after hit-and-run accident

Herma Hirst | Aug 2023

Obtaining compensation for a traumatic brain injury is never a quick exercise, due to the complexity of such claims and the fact that insurance companies will go to great lengths to reduce or even avoid paying out any money. Where there is a question over who is responsible for the insurance, then things become even more challenging.

Such was the case when Herma Hirst, an experienced litigation executive, acted for a pedestrian who was injured in a hit-and-run accident when an uninsured driver mounted onto the pavement where she was walking.

Background to the accident

Herma’s client was an experienced and ambitious executive at one of the leading telecoms companies in the UK before a traumatic brain injury cut short a promising career.

After a night out with her partner in central London, they were walking back to their vehicle when a car mounted the pavement and collided with the couple, before driving away and fleeing the scene.  Fortunately the Police were able to track the driver down and arrest him.

The lady was hospitalised for three weeks due to the severity of her head injuries, extensive bruising, and soft tissue injuries.  Unsurprisingly, the accident also had a significant psychological impact on her mental health and wellbeing.

The benefit of an experienced personal injury solicitor

For several months she was reluctant to contact a solicitor, but was persuaded to do so by a friend who had previously had a positive outcome after instructing Herma Hirst. Based on her own experience, the friend was aware that a good personal injury solicitor may be able to obtain speedier access to rehabilitation treatment and therapy than might be available if you have to wait for the NHS.

Indeed Herma, who is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and she has been running complex personal and clinical negligence cases for over 20 years, arranged for an immediate needs assessment. Armed with the assessment report, Herma secured several interim payments to fund an extensive range of treatment with neuropsychology, psychology; tinnitus treatment, and physiotherapy.

In addition help was available from support workers to help our client to coordinate her days and get to her various appointments.

Which insurance company was liable?

Meanwhile, it took around five years to negotiate an adequate compensation package, partly because there was an initial dispute over which insurance company was liable.

The reckless driver had not been insured to drive this car, but was known to the owner and had ready access to the keys to the vehicle.  The owner claimed that the car was no longer in his possession as he had ‘sold it’ to a car dealer. Meanwhile the car dealer explained that he had not purchased the car, it was simply being displayed on his forecourt.

The vehicle owner’s insurer initially tried to argue that liability rested with the car dealership, but Herma was able to dismiss this and establish that it was the insurance company for the owner that would have to pay our client.

Compensation and support

Alongside compensation for the physical and psychological injuries, Herma also claimed financial redress for the curtailment of this executive’s career.  Having tried to return to her job a few months after the accident, she had struggled to perform to her previous level and eventually had to leave the job for medical reasons.

Herma arranged for her to receive support from an employment adviser to identify a new career path, and to undertake relevant training with a view to returning to work again within two years after settlement of the claim.

Meanwhile, the vehicle insurance company kept trying to entice our client to settle the claim with low offers of compensation.  Although tempting to accept an early offer, just to wind things up and move on, Herma explained how compensation would be calculated, and how much it was realistic to expect to receive and hold out for.

Finally, after nearly five years a compensation package in excess of £500,000 was agreed – a sum which could help this person to start to rebuild her life.

Contact us

To find out more about how our personal injury team may be able to help you claim compensation following an accident that was not your fault, please contact Herma Hirst on 01908 689375 or via email at hhirst@geoffreyleaver.com to arrange a free and no obligation initial consultation.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.


If you would like to receive automatic notifications of our latest news you can sign up to receive our newsletters or follow us on LinkedinTwitter or Facebook.

Herma Hirst | Litigation Executive

Herma Hirst | Litigation Executive

Share this:

Related articles