Compensation victory for ‘Good Samaritan’ in road crash
A man who helped to prevent a motorway pileup but was paralysed in the process has won a landmark legal case against a group of insurers.
David Tolley, 46, was attempting to move a woman’s car off the M53 after she had an accident and blocked part of the motorway, but was hit by two other cars.
His injuries were so severe that he was not expected to survive, but he now needs full-time care and is tetraplegic.
The victim launched compensation claims against Equity Red Star, Co-operative Insurance and Admiral Insurance – the three insurers involved – but was told they intended to contest liability because he was partially responsible for his injuries.
It was the first case in which insurers have challenged a victim in this way, but Mr Justice Hickinbottom has now ruled in favour of Mr Tolley.
“Exceptional bravery is not the same as foolhardiness,” the judge commented.
Mr Tolley, who called the actions of the insurers “nothing short of disgraceful”, will now be eligible for compensation, although the exact amount has not been decided.
According to the Office for National Statistics, approximately 248,000 people were injured or killed in UK road accidents in 2007.
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