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Seven-figure compensation for lollipop lady: Severe brain injuries sustained after being hit by a car

Seven-figure compensation for lollipop lady: Severe brain injuries sustained after being hit by a car

A lollipop lady who suffered severe brain injuries after being hit by a car whilst at work has been awarded a seven-figure payout. The compensation will be used to cover the 24-hour care she requires following the accident.

Hit by a vehicle travelling at 17-20mph

Eleanor Harman, a lollipop lady from South Tyneside, was hit by a car whilst she was working in 2011. The accident, which happened opposite her house in South Shields, left her with severe brain injuries, despite expert evidence revealing that the car was travelling at just 17-20mph.

62-year-old Mrs Harman underwent life-saving surgery and spent three weeks in a high-dependency unit, followed by nearly a year in hospital. The mother of two has been left with profound disabilities as a result of the accident, suffering severe memory loss and fatigue, along with problems with concentration. She now requires 24-hour care.

Mrs Harman was hit by a car driven by Margaret Boyles, also of South Shields. Despite travelling at a relatively low speed, she failed to bring her vehicle to a stop before colliding with Mrs Harman. Initially Mrs Boyles denied any liability and her insurers argued that Mrs Harman was partially responsible for the accident.

Margaret Boyles was subsequently found guilty of driving without due care and attention. CCTV footage captured the accident and was used to help Mrs Harman secure her legal victory. Mrs Boyles admitted that as she travelled down the road, she became blinded by the sun and had her vision impaired. She was fined £95 and ordered to pay costs, and received four penalty points on her license.

“We are hugely relieved the settlement has been agreed”

After the guilty verdict, Mrs Boyles’ insurers admitted full liability, with Mrs Harman awarded a seven-figure sum in an out-of-court settlement. The money will be used to cover the costs of her care needs and to obtain expert treatment and equipment to help her live with a degree of independence once again. The carefully-calculated figure also includes provisions for specially-adapted accommodation to improve the quality of life of Mrs Harman and her family.

Mrs Harman’s husband Harry, 73, said: “I was devastated when I found out about Eleanor’s accident, which happened right outside our house. We have to deal with the consequences every day as Eleanor’s injuries mean she is simply unable to have the same independence as before.

“We are hugely relieved that the settlement has been agreed as it means we can prepare for the future knowing that my wife will receive the specialist care, support and rehabilitation she needs for the rest of her life.”

Malcolm Underhill, Partner and specialist in brain injury claims, says: "this case highlights the disproportionate impact of a low impact speed accident. This tragedy has devastated the claimant and her family’s life. They will forever live with the consequences although doing so will be a little more bearable with funds to pay for Mrs Harman’s care.”

Your employer is under a duty to reduce the risk of accidents taking place in your workplace, wherever that may be. Your employer’s duty is to take all reasonable steps to maintain a safe place of work. In order to fulfil this duty, your employer must do certain things:

  • Carry out a thorough risk assessment in relation to the premises, equipment and all working practices;
  • Implement any changes that are necessary following that assessment to correct problems and reduce the risk of injury;
  • Ensure that training is provided to all employees to ensure that the correct – and safest – procedures are being followed;
  • Ensure that all work equipment is in good working order and that the relevant employees are provided with full instructions for use.

If you want to enquire about making a claim for an accident at work, please contact a member of our team on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of the accident/clinical negligence and the injuries sustained to PI@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.