Judgment secured against police for brain injured client on eve of Trial | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Judgment secured against police for brain injured client on eve of Trial

Associate Jack Sales, assisting Partner Keith Barrett, successfully negotiated a liability settlement the day before Trial on behalf of a client who was severely brain injured when she (a pedestrian) was hit by a speeding police van.

The collision occurred in May 2019. The police maintained full denial of liability after proceedings were issued in April 2022, necessitating a Trial to determine liability. Trial was due to commence in March 2024, almost five years from the collision, during which time our client had not been able to access funds for treatment, in light of the full denial.

The issue was whether the police driver was negligent in travelling more than 20mph above the speed limit along a densely populated high street. 

Emergency service vehicles are exempt from complying with speed restrictions when responding to an emergency. But the police appeared to view this was a blanket exemption. We argued that the exemption still requires drivers to adapt their driving and speed to the conditions of the road and still owe other road users a duty of care, particularly pedestrians.

It was acknowledged fault would be found against our client who was crossing when it was not safe to do so, but the issue of the driver's speed was crucial. Collision reconstruction experts agreed upon a lower speed at which the police van could have stopped in time to avoid a collision.

No offers were made by the police until only two days before Trial. After some negotiations, a settlement was agreed the day before Trial. This was subject to Court approval since the client lacks capacity. A Deputy High Court Judge approved the settlement, which includes significant interim damages for our client to fund treatment and a payment on account of costs.

The client will now undergo treatment while quantum is investigated in what is expected to be a seven-figure claim.

Contact us

For further information about road traffic accident claims or personal injury claims, please call Jack Sales on 0330 460 7328 or email jack.sales@fieldfisher.com or call Keith Barrett on 0330 460 6783 or email keith.barrett@fieldfisher.com.


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.