Herma’s tenacity wins compensation for pedestrian’s knee replacement after being hit by a car

Herma Hirst | Feb 2024

When you have been hurt in an accident, whatever the severity of your injuries, it can be hard to know what to do in the moment – especially if you are on your own and there are no independent witnesses. But any evidence that you can collect will be valuable later when your solicitor is putting your case to the insurer’s legal team and potentially the court.

Herma Hirst recently had to piece together the facts of a road traffic accident where there was no one around to independently verify the facts. She also needed to re-establish the correct timeline, due to problems with the medical records. Meanwhile the driver’s insurance company dragged their heels and refused to admit liability. Almost three years after the accident, Herma’s tenacious approach succeeded in obtaining a settlement of over £25,000 for a minicab driver who needed a knee replacement after being hit by a car while he was a pedestrian.

The accident

Our client was crossing the service road on a mixed-use development with shops, offices, flats, and a car park in North West London. A driver came out and clipped his leg with the car causing him to fall, where he was further injured in his leg when she drove over him.

The gentleman, in his fifties, was naturally very dazed and shocked. He called his son who advised him to photograph the car and to take the driver’s details which he did.  He then hobbled home as it was very close by, and his wife called an ambulance.

Medical treatment

As the accident occurred during the Covid pandemic, it was not possible for anyone to accompany our client in the ambulance.  Due to traumatic shock of the event, and English not being his first language, the medical notes made by the paramedics were not very coherent.

The hospital examined the gentleman and discharged him with painkillers and advice, but he remained in great pain.  On going to see his GP, he was promptly referred back to the hospital where an x-ray indicated a fracture to his leg that had been missed on the first visit.

As a result of the accident, it was necessary to undergo a knee replacement operation.

Impact on his career

Our client had been a minicab driver, but his work had already been curtailed because of the pandemic – so at least he had time to recover after his knee operation.

However, a minicab driver is obliged to take any fare that is sent to him by his employer, and this can sometimes include very long journeys which proved problematical for our client.  In order to restrict his work to short local journeys and to have more control, our client gave up his job with the minicab company and moved to working via Uber which had a slight detrimental impact on his earnings.

Piecing together the evidence

Having reviewed the medical evidence, it was clear that some further investigation was required to establish exactly what happened and the timeline of events.

Herma accompanied the client and his son to the scene of the accident and gathered all the details of the event. This was accompanied by evidence from the son, who had been on the phone with his father immediately after the accident and who had exchanged several text messages about what was happening and what to do.

From this, Herma was able to put together a compelling argument that the driver was at fault and therefore her insurer would have to pay compensation.

Never give up

The driver’s insurance company denied that the lady driver was liable, but despite numerous requests they provided no explanation and no evidence to back up this assertion.

The personal injury solicitors at Geoffrey Leaver are known for their tenaciousness, and Herma knew that her client had a very good case.

As the time limit of three years from the date of the accident approached, Herma issued the insurers with an ultimatum: if they failed to provide adequate supporting evidence then she would proceed directly to litigation.

Herma was confident that they would win, and it would cost the insurers more dearly if they had to fight the case through the court (especially with no supporting evidence).  Fortunately, the insurers also saw the strength in Herma’s argument, and they backed down at the eleventh hour.

Herma successfully negotiated a settlement of over £25,000 to compensate our client for the pain and distress, and the impact on his earnings.

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.


Herma Hirst | Litigation Executive

Herma Hirst | Litigation Executive

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