7 figure sum for pedestrian hit by a car when walking home

A great result for this young client who suffered significant injuries after being hit by car in the early hours, after a night out at the pub. Despite being in the road at the time of the accident and subject to the influence of alcohol, Aspire Law were able to secure significant damages for our client.

The Aspire law team consisted of Damian Horan, Fadwa Errhioui and James Wood. In addition, Aspire Law instructed Gerard McDermott, Kings Counsel, and leading forensic and medical experts to assist in achieving the best outcome for the client.


The background

At around 1.00 a.m. unable to get a cab home, our client decided to walk the 5 miles back to his home. The route would take him along an A road with no lighting and no pavement. Our client used the light on his phone to illuminate his path ahead and warn oncoming vehicles of his presence. Sadly, our client was hit by a passing motorist.

Our client suffered fractures to his ribs, scapula, right ankle and fractures to his C2 and C7 vertebrae. As a result, he sustained a motor and sensory incomplete C5 injury, causing significant impairment. Our client was able to walk short distances only and only with the aid of a walking stick. He was otherwise reliant on a wheelchair for getting around.

Initially our client was treated at a major trauma centre where he was stabilised and the neck fractures secured. Following several weeks of acute care, our client was moved to a specialist spinal centre for rehabilitation. Our client contacted Aspire Law and following a meeting with James Wood and Damian Horan, our client instructed Aspire Law to secure compensation from the third- party driver.



The defendant insurer argued that our client was in the road, unlit in dark clothing and under the influence of alcohol, which they said was the primary cause of the accident. They denied that their insured driver was at fault. They maintained their insured could not have avoided the collision. No action by the police was taken against the driver.

Our client had little recollection of the accident and so Aspire Law had to obtain expert forensic reconstruction evidence to understand what did occur on the night of the accident. Evidence was gathered from witnesses, the vehicle, the scene, emergency services together with CCTV.

Through careful investigation and evidence gathering Aspire Law were able to piece together the events of the night of the collision. The evidence gathered by Aspire Law supported the fact that our client was there to be seen and the collision could have been avoided. However, given that our client was in the road, the expert considered our client would be found contributory negligent by any trial judge.


Litigation process

The defendant continued to deny liability, leaving open the prospect of a trial on the issues. The only way the claim could be resolved would be by a judge or by agreement between the parties. The defendant made a ‘nuisance offer’ of £100,000 which was rejected by the Aspire Law on the instructions of our client.

Despite the third-party insurer’s stance on liability, Aspire Law were able to secure our client interim payments to get him home after hospital and enable him to purchase specialist equipment.

In addition to the forensic expert evidence, Aspire Law obtained expert evidence from leading experts to include spinal cord injury, care, case management, physio and occupational therapy, psychology, accommodation and transport. These experts provided evidence on our client’s needs and their associated costs. These would later feature in the schedule of loss, setting out our client’s claim in greater detail.


Difficulties following injury

As with all Aspire Law clients, this was a very difficult time for our client. In addition to the long term mental and physical challenges that a spinal cord injury presents, our client had immediate needs following discharge from hospital that included accommodation, equipment and transport. He was also extremely keen return to work in London.

To this end Aspire Law were able to extract agreement from the third-party insurer to instruct the services of a case manager. This provided our client with the necessary support and knowledge to address the matters at hand. Along with the interim payments secured by Aspire Law, our client was able to be discharged to a suitable property, purchase appropriate equipment and return to work. Suitable transport was also arranged for him.


Developments during the claim

The defendant maintained a denial of liability. As a consequence, and with the three-year anniversary approaching, Aspire Law issued court proceedings against the third-party driver.



Aspire Law also concluded much of the quantum (value) evidence during this time in readiness for a trial should the need arise.



Despite the parties opposing positions, Aspire Law maintained contact with the third-party insurer and kept the channels of communication open. A joint settlement meeting was proposed by Aspire Law with a view to negotiating a settlement. This would avoid the need for a trial. The third-party insurer agreed. After the parties disclosed their respective expert reports (on a without prejudice basis), there was a joint settlement meeting which was attended by the client and his leading counsel, Gerard McDermott KC.

Whilst unsuccessful (as the insurer’s offer was too low), the meeting laid the foundations for a settlement that would be achieved several weeks later after the insurer accepted a higher degree of responsibility for the collision and raised their offer significantly.



Our client sustained life changing injuries that were complex and extremely challenging. The allegation that our client was the main cause of the accident for being in the road required detailed forensic analysis to reconstruct the events leading up to the collision. This forensic approach allied with comprehensive quantum evidence enabled Aspire Law to negotiate the best outcome for our client and avoid the need for a trial. Progress on this case was achieved through robust reporting, a strong conviction and a sensible dialogue with the defendant insurer. This achieved numerous interim payments throughout the life of the claim, constant support from Aspire Law and the case manager, and finally a settlement well into seven figures.


Damian Horan says “It was such a pleasure to secure this outcome for such a deserving client. The damages recovered will make a huge difference to his future and give him and his family much needed security”


Car accident

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If you or a close member of your family have recently sustained a spinal cord injury, you will need expert advice and assistance. You could be eligible for spinal injury compensation. Please fill out our content form and one of our spinal injury solicitors will get in touch with you.