08 July, 2009
The police force has been unsuccessful in proving that a speeding police car was not responsible for an accident which killed a member of the public.
The police officer, whilst answering an emergency call, drove his car at speed. He had applied the blue flashing light but not the siren. As he drove around a bend in the road and because of the speed at which he was driving he did not have time to stop to prevent colliding with the lady as she pulled out from a minor road.
The police force claimed that the person in question had not checked that the road was clear before pulling out. If she had looked to her right before pulling out then she would have seen the approaching police vehicle. The Court agreed with this allegation and so decided that part of the responsibility for the accident lay with her.
However, the fact that the police car had not switched on its siren meant that the speed that the police car was travelling was more unsafe than it would have been had the siren been applied, which serves the purpose of making other road users aware of emergency vehicles within the area. The Court went further and said that if the siren had been on then it was likely that, upon hearing the siren, she would have adopted more caution and would not have risked pulling out onto the main road.
It was decided that the police force were 40% liable for the accident, whilst the remaining 60% lay with the lady who was killed. Her family were therefore entitled to 40% of the damages that would have been awarded to her.
Over the years, Forbes' specialised Personal Injury departments have handled a number of cases where people have been successful in recovering damages for accidents even when the person injured is partly responsible. Just because a person contributes to their own injury does not necessarily mean that they are not entitled to compensation.
Forbes personal injury team is made up of specialist personal injury solicitors / lawyers who offer advice on all areas of personal injury on a no win no fee basis. Whether you have had an accident at work, an accident on the street or a car accident (road traffic accident) we can provide you with expert advice on your personal injury claim ensuring you receive the accident compensation you are entitled to.