Massive sums of cash paid out for road and pavement defects

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 12 Mar 2013:

When it rains, it pours – and all that rain and snow and sleet have done a number on the nation’s roadways and pavements, leading to inevitable injuries.

Personal injury claims made by pedestrians and motorists due to damage or injury incurred by running into potholes and other road defects have been positively draining the coffers of local authorities all over the UK for years now. In fact, a new report discovered that in excess of £330,000 in compensation payments have been made by Brighton and Hove City Council over the past four years, and personal injury solicitors for claimants have been winning damages awards as high as £54,000 in some cases.

From 2009 to 2012, the local authority has had to deal with paying out on 61 successful personal injury claims, the worst of which was when a kerb wrecked a cyclist in Hove on Wilbury Avenue at the junction with The Drive. Taxpayers have had to bear the brunt of these costs, with more than £183,000 in costs from pedestrians slipping or tripping on uneven pavements, and the rough winter made matters even worse with ice turning some pavements into proper ice skating rinks in some situations.

You would think that after one or two years of sustained accident claims being made for injuries sustained in incidents precipitated by pavement in need of repair, the local authority would get out there and repair any bad spots, but apparently I don’t think like a politician. Perhaps it’s less expensive to simply pay out on these claims than it is to undertake repair work?

Meanwhile, it’s not just the roads themselves that are dangerous in the UK – road traffic accidents are a serious source of strife as well. A perfect indicator of just how dangerous it can be to get behind the wheel – or in this case behind the handlebars of a motorcycle – is the story of a motorcyclist who was injured after being struck by a car that had been executing a u-turn.

Trainee mechanic Owain Sullivan had been motoring along a stretch of the A22 atop his 250cc motorcycle – a relatively light and under-powered motorbike, if I remember correctly – when he was struck by the driver of a Peugeot 206 turning left into a side road executed a u-turn suddenly, barreling right into Mr Sullivan’s path. The poor man was sent careering off his motorcycle, damaging his groin, neck, and wrist.

Mr Sullivan’s injuries were extreme enough to warrant airlifting to hospital where he could be treated for his injuries. The man readily admits now that he was incredibly luck o not have been injured even more seriously, though he was severely traumatised by the incident for several months following the crash, which left a sizable dent in the Peugeot.

However, there is a silver lining to this particular cloud in that the man was awarded compensation to the tune of £22,500. thanks to the excellent job of his personal injury lawyers no doubt!

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