- Areas of Work
- Client Care
- Events & Seminars
Welcome to the Exchange Chambers news area where you will find public announcements, and other news items.
David Knifton has secured a settlement worth over £850,000 on behalf of an elderly lady who suffered catastrophic injuries when she was run over by an articulated lorry on a pedestrian crossing in Salford.
The accident occurred on 3.10.11, when the Claimant was aged 64 years. Due to a number of pre-existing health problems which affected her mobility, she walked at a slow pace with the aid of a 4-wheeled trolley. As she was waiting to cross a busy road outside Salford Hospital, the pedestrian crossing was blocked by a large articulated lorry, which was queuing in standing traffic. When the pedestrian lights changed to green, the Claimant stepped off the kerb and attempted to cross in front of the lorry, passing outside the studs of the pedestrian crossing as she did so. Unfortunately, when the traffic ahead began to clear, the lorry moved off, the driver failing to see the Claimant, and ran her over. As a result, the Claimant suffered devastating injuries to her abdomen and right leg, leading to the need for a colostomy and an above-knee amputation.
The Defendant’s insurers had denied liability, suggesting that the Claimant had attempted a dangerous manoeuvre in stepping between queuing traffic directly in front of the lorry, when the driver’s view from his cab would have been restricted due to her height, rather than waiting for the crossing to clear before stepping off the kerb. Nevertheless, a firm stance was taken by David and his instructing solicitor, Nicola Mawson of Forster Dean, which eventually led to the Defendant’s insurers agreeing to pay around 80% of the value of the claim. Despite many other difficult issues, including a dispute regarding the Claimant’s life expectancy and her ability to tolerate a prosthetic leg, David negotiated a settlement against a highly-experienced QC of over £850,000 (equivalent to well over £1m on a full liability basis), enabling the Claimant to be housed in a wheelchair-adapted bungalow, with a suitable care regime, and the provision of appropriate equipment to improve her quality of life.
Commenting on the settlement, David said: “I am delighted to have been able to secure a substantial settlement for Mrs Worthington, which will make a real difference to her quality of life in the future. Although we were hampered by a lack of supportive witness evidence, by maintaining a firm stance on liability we were able to persuade the Defendant’s insurers of the need to take a more realistic view of the likely outcome. Despite her previous health problems, Mrs Worthington enjoyed a reasonably independent life before the accident, and we considered that the Defendant’s experts had made fundamental errors in calculating her life expectancy. Our selection of key expert witnesses who understood the difficult issues involved was vital to securing significant concessions from the Defendant’s insurers during the negotiations.”