Law firm Express Solicitors emerged victorious in the High Court last month in a case that could have significant repercussions for pedestrian Londoners and London bus drivers.
In his decision issued on 7 December, Judge Barry Cotter QC ruled in favour of Express Solicitors client Jacqueline Brown, who was struck by an Arriva North London bus in Peckham after stepping off the kerb and into its path.
The bus knocked Brown forward and then hit her again, with the nearside wheel running over her lower legs, leading to severe injuries and amputation.
Brown was previously advised that the case did not warrant accident reconstruction investigations, but upon instruction, Express Solicitors partner Daniel Slade (pictured) viewed a police video of the accident and concluded that the separate component parts of the accident beyond the first collision had been overlooked.
Slade argued that even if Brown was to blame for the first collision with the front of the bus, it should have stopped before its wheels ran over her later—and on that basis instructed a reconstruction specialist.
The case was denied and fought throughout, but in the High Court, Judge Cotter QC found that if a driver is pulling into a busy high street and such an emergency is presented:
- A bus driver should be able should react to such emergencies in less than one second
- 8 miles per hour is too fast and the more appropriate speed was 5 miles per hour
- A bus driver should be braking with full force
- A bus driver should be looking predominantly at the people on the pavement
Judge Cotter QC found that if the London bus driver had done all of the above, he wouldn’t have hit the claimant a second time, causing the amputation of her left leg and disabling fractures to her right leg.
Commenting on the judgement, Slade of Express Solicitors said: “We were the first to see that even if our client was to blame for the first collision, if the bus driver had been driving non-negligently, he would have seen her and reacted in time to prevent that second contact.”
“It is only because we saw this that she will receive the compensation she deserves to deal with these life changing injuries.”