Can a Passenger Claim Against a Drunk Driver? Who is Liable for their Injuries?
Our client was only a teenager when she was injured in a car being driven by a friend. Her friend lost control of the car and hit a tree. As she was in the rear seat, it should have been a straightforward personal injury case except that the driver had drunk alcohol.
If our client had known how much the driver had drunk, it would have affected the damages that she could claim. However, she was not aware of this fact when she got into the car. Additionally, the driver’s insurers argued that our client was not wearing her seatbelt which would also affect her claim. Our client lost a kidney in the accident so it was important for us to prove that neither of these allegations were true.
We successfully argued that our client was not, in any way, liable for her injuries. We finally secured an admission for full liability.
Once the driver had admitted fault for the accident, we asked a medical expert to assess our client’s situation. The expert helped us to establish the future medical risks for the remainder of her life. This was important because she had lost a kidney in the accident and anyone with just one functioning kidney is at high risk. Despite being seen by doctors in the NHS, she did not appreciate how much her claim was worth until she read our expert’s report. The report dealt with the extent of her injury and described the risks for her future with only one working kidney. We used this evidence to help us and our client was able to agree a settlement for the whole claim within 18 months.
Claiming against the drunk driver after the accident
Our client had been initially unsure about whether to pursue a claim for damages. She was worried as she knew the driver and did not want to cause any bad feeling between them. She also had not realised how serious her injury was.
Our client was overjoyed with the result that we got for her and within a relatively short time period too. She was equally pleased and reassured by the information from our medical expert. This was very helpful as she had received very little advice or assistance from the NHS about the extent of her injury or what the future may hold for her.
This client will be using the money to put down a large deposit on a house in the future. Whilst this will not truly compensate our client, at least she feels that justice has been done and has some security for her future.
You can visit the Campaign Against Drink Driving to find out more about the wider impact of drink driving or you can speak to one of our personal injury solicitors if you have any questions about your own situation.
Ed Hudson – Serious Injury Guide Plus
Serious injury guide and Ed Hudson. Ed sustained serious injuries, a C4 fracture of his spinal cord, in a road traffic accident in February 2018. He originally instructed another firm of solicitors but then interviewed a number of leading personal injury law firms and picked Barratts.
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