Personal Injury

Damages for motorist forced off road and into a lamppost by speeding uninsured driver who was racing another car

5 min read time

A driver has told how he has been left with little confidence in other motorists after being injured in an accident caused by a speeding, uninsured driver who was racing another car.

Glazing quality inspector Joseph Hill, 24, had been driving along Laithes Lane in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and was approaching a roundabout when he saw two cars speeding towards him in his rear view mirror.

Seconds later, as one of the cars attempted to pass him close to the junction, it clipped the rear end of his Fiesta, on the driver’s side, causing his car to veer to the left and mount the kerb, lifting into the air and crashing head on into a lamppost.

Thankfully, it was an accident Mr Hill was fortunate enough to be able to walk away from, but his car was a write-off and also suffered soft tissue damage to his neck which he says affects him every day.

“My injuries could have been really serious. If he’d crashed into my driver door directly, rather than the rear end of my car, or if I’d taken the full impact of the lamppost, I would have been in big trouble,” he said.

“It was all caused by speeding and driving recklessly, and there was little I could do. I was slowing down as I approached the roundabout and when I looked in the mirror I could see two cars speeding towards me. The next thing I knew one had hit me and I totally lost control.

“Thankfully the airbags came out and did their jobs and I had no broken bones.

“Being in an accident like that does impact on you though and I have lost confidence in other drivers. I am now much less trusting of other motorists when I am behind the wheel. I am always looking for erratic driving and trying to make sure I am well away from them.

“I think it has taught me that no matter how safe your own driving is, there is always danger from others. Being in the accident hasn’t affected my confidence in my own driving ability, but it has made me more aware of the risk others pose.”

Road Safety Week highlights ‘No Need to Speed’ to cut risk on roads

Mr Hill has shared his experience to mark Road Safety Week, which is run by the road safety charity Brake from November 16-22 and is this year using the slogan ‘No Need to Speed’ as it urges all motorists to consider their speed and whether it is appropriate.

He says the soft tissue damage he suffered in the accident impacts upon his life daily, with a ‘constant pain’ which is worsened when he works long shifts and when he exercises.

“I was lucky not to break bones or suffer a serious injury but I am a 24-year-old who feels he has a neck of a much older person as it is not as it should be,” he said.

“It really can be painful whenever I do something a bit physical and it has shown no sign of going away.”

Hudgell Solicitors led a legal claim on behalf of Mr Hill and secured a £22,500 damages settlement.

As the driver of the car which caused the accident was not insured, he had to pursue damages from the defendant via the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) – an independent body that compensates people who are involved in accidents with uninsured or untraced drivers.

A legal representative of our road traffic accident claims team said:  “This was a completely undisputed act of reckless driving given the defendant was apparently racing another car when he clipped the right hand side of our client’s vehicle, causing it to leave the road and hit a lamppost.

“As we had to pursue the case through the MIB, this case did take a little longer to resolve than some others, but we were pleased to be able to secure Mr Hill a positive outcome from what was a very frightening accident, and could have resulted in much more serious injury.

“In our work we see how the slightest reduction in speed can be the difference between people being seriously injured and walking away relatively unharmed.

“With that in mind we fully support Brake’s messaging this year as part of Road Safety Week to remind people of the need to consider what speed is appropriate for their surroundings.”

Mr Hill said he had been delighted with the legal support provided to him and the damages settlement secured.

“I got a good settlement, which came at a great time for me because the case settled as I moved out of home and into my own place. Everything I needed he sorted and he made it really easy and explained why the case took some time to complete,” he said.

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