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Five-figure settlement awarded to member after road accident

A Unite member has been awarded damages after a road traffic accident in London caused fractures to their lower back.

The member was walking to a station and attempted to cross the road near a junction when a car pulled around the corner and hit them. The force of the impact knocked them more than three metres down the road.

The collision caused two crush fractures to their back as well as bruising and lacerations. The person was taken to hospital for treatment and then needed six weeks off work, before returning on reduced hours because of the injuries. 

More than two and a half years later, they continue to struggle with strenuous activity and have had to employ a cleaner to help with household tasks. They have also developed anxiety and have a phobia of being a pedestrian. 

The member contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for compensation.

They said: “I’ve always liked to keep busy, so not being physically active is extremely frustrating. I used to enjoy spending hours tending to my garden, but I’m now in so much pain that I just can’t do it anymore.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever fully regain my confidence - I still feel really nervous when I have to walk alongside a road or near vehicles. Nonetheless, I do consider myself extremely lucky to be alive and my injuries have healed to an extent and that I have been able to return to work.”

Peter Kavanagh, London and Eastern regional secretary from Unite the Union, said: “Unfortunately, more than 5,000 pedestrians are killed or seriously injured on British roads every year. As this case shows, the consequences of such incidents can have a lasting effect on a person’s health and wellbeing, and in some cases take a life altogether.   

“Drivers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of other road users and pedestrians when behind the wheel – particularly when in densely populated areas like London. There’s no excuse for what happened to our member – if the driver had taken greater care coming around the corner then they would have seen our member crossing the road and could have avoided ploughing straight into them.

“Unite Legal Services provides free legal support for members who have been involved in an accident, be it work related or otherwise, so we were able to represent our member ensuring that they received 100% of the compensation secured for them.”