Monday, 6 July 2015

The 6/7/15 Brighton Bus Crash
Might the injured victims and their families go without compensation?

York, 6th July 2015 – Managing director of Free Motor Legal, Lee Jones, observes that Brighton and Hove Buses managing director Martin Harris said: "We are exploring all the possible causes and that includes the suggestion that there may have been some sort of medical episode involving the driver." This harks back to the tragic accident in Glasgow on 22nd December 2014 when 6 people were killed and many more injured when the bin lorry driver fell unconscious at the wheel. In such circumstances, unless negligence against the driver or the vehicle operators can be established, claims for losses and compensation for injury and death may struggle to succeed.

Compensation is something that will be far from the minds of the injured passengers and their families at the moment, but once the extent of some injuries start to take hold and prevent people from earning a living or they are restricted with their lives, the thought of seeking redress becomes more prominent. At the moment the questions of “how and why” will prevail the most. It could simply have been an error of judgment and fortunately, most public service vehicles are now equipped with CCTV cameras that record both inside and outside footage from the vehicles, so this may shed some light on what happened and assist the investigation greatly, along with any eye witness accounts   Managing Director and Road Accident Lawyer, Lee Jones, who has been working in the insurance and road accident claims industry for 20 years says “in the event the driver has suffered a sudden and unexpected “medical episode” that was not foreseeable and was an unknown condition to him, proving the accident arose as a result of negligence may prove very difficult and any potential claims may fail.”He went on to explain that “it is not enough to merely show people suffered injuries and losses, it must be proven that on the balance of probabilities, the collision and resulting injuries arose due to the negligence of the bus driver or his employers. If a defence exists of automatism in that the driver was suddenly overcome with a medical condition that caused him to lose consciousness, the insurers of the bus company may well resist any claims”. Certainly it is too early to speculate accurately on the cause of the collision, but if it was due to a “medical episode” that was not known or detectable, then injured parties may have a hard time getting redress.

The bin lorry crash from December 2014 is a case in point, where the driver fell unconscious at the wheel and the investigation has revealed no known medical conditions pre-existed the incident and there had been no failure by the driver to take say medication or seek medical advice which then lead to the incident. Lawyers acting for any of the Glasgow victims and their families are likely to face a tough time gaining compensation for their clients. Hopefully the investigators will soon be able to find a cause.
Free Motor Legal provides a free lifetime membership to all motorists in England, Scotland & Wales saving them around £30 per annum for each vehicle they have insured and avoiding the need to purchase a motor legal protection policy. In 2015 we aim to save the UK over £100 million in motor legal protection premiums, creating significant 10% savings from the average insurance premium for life. The company mirrors the service offering of most established legal protection providers without the need to purchase any underwritten product. The company has been in business since 2012 and is located in York.


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