After suffering serious personal injuries when the horse she was riding collided with a camper van, one teenage girl was recently awarded personal injury compensation to the tune of nearly £90,000.
Sally Stoddard was fourteen years old when she was injured in the incident that led to her filing of a traffic accident claim. The crash left her with serious injuries to her pelvis so severe that she may require hip replacement surgeries in the coming years.
While returning to Sunderland’s Stoneygate Stables with a friend after a ride one summer evening, Sally and a friend were crossing Burdon Lane when her horse was hit by a van. In the wake of the collision Sally’s horse Trigger rolled, crushing the young girl underneath the horse’s weight. While Trigger survived, Sally suffered serious and long-lasting injuries in the incident according to her accident claim.
Both Sally and the van’s driver were deemed to be equally at fault for the incident, according to a judge’s ruling in Newcastle County Court. Sally’s personal injury compensation award was set at £87,400.
After the court’s decision the van driver filed an appeal. Mr Joseph Perucca maintained that Sally had made the accident unavoidable by riding straight into the path of his vehicle.
The Civil Appeal Court of London dismissed the appeal, ruling that the County Court Judge’s original ruling was the correct one. Sally’s compensation award was upheld, thus allowing her to claim her damages.
Many legal experts agree that in similar situations an appellate court’s decision can sometimes make matters better for a defendant that loses their initial legal battle. However in this instance Mr Perucca managed to make things worse for himself as now he may be liable for court costs in addition to the nearly £90,000 he or his insurance company will have no choice but to pay.