Accident Victims Don't Have to Be Blameless to Win Compensation
People who suffer injuries in road accidents that are partially their own fault can still win compensation with the right legal advice. In one case on point, a woman who accepted that she was reckless when she stepped into the path of a bus was nevertheless entitled to substantial damages.
The middle-aged recruitment consultant was rushing along a busy pavement when, in an attempt to get around another pedestrian, she stepped into the gutter at a bus stop. She took about three steps before a bus hit her, knocking her to the ground and running over her legs, causing severe injuries.
She conceded that she was at fault to the point of recklessness, but that did not prevent proceedings being launched on her behalf against the bus driver's employer. The latter argued that the driver had had no reason to notice her as she stepped off the pavement directly into his path and that there was nothing he could have done to avoid the collision.
In ruling the driver 40 per cent responsible for the accident, however, the High Court found that, had he been paying adequate attention to the pavement area, he would have seen the woman prior to the first point of contact. Although the initial collision was inevitable, prompt braking would have enabled him to avoid running over her legs. The amount of the woman's compensation remains to be assessed but is likely to be a six-figure sum, even after a 60 per cent reduction.