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Croydon tram crash compensation could run to ‘tens of millions’ - The full article from the Standard

Paul McNeil
Payouts to victims of the Croydon tram tragedy and their families could run to ‘tens of millions’, a personal injury lawyer said today.

The tram derailed at high speed in east Croydon, south London shortly after 6am on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and injuring 51. Eight of the people taken to hospital have serious or life-changing injuries, including amputated limbs.

Paul McNeil, the head of personal injury at Fieldfisher lawyers, said the total compensation would be:

Mr McNeil, who acted for families in the Ladbroke Grove, Potters Bar and Clapham Junction rail disasters, said:

He called for the inquiry to be made public, saying TfL and the tram operator’s parent company First Group should move swiftly to accept blame and offer pay-outs. If the insurance companies are proactive, he added, payouts could begin as soon as the cause of the crash had been determined.

However, if they fight the claims, it could be years before victims see any money. Depending on the outcome of the ongoing inquiry, the money will be provided by the insurers of either TfL or the tram company, First Group. British Transport Police today appealed for witnesses and said it planned to publish an interim report about the accident next week.

Footage today emerged of the 42-year-old driver, who lives in Beckenham, being arrested at the scene. He is understood to have told police he “blacked out” before the tram slewed off the rails at up to four times the 12mph speed limit.

He was questioned on suspicion of manslaughter for around 12 hours at a police station before being released on bail until May. British Transport Police are also investigating reports that a tram almost came off the tracks a week ago in the same place as Wednesday’s fatal crash.

This article was first published on November 2016

Cover image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP

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