Background

On 17/05/2010 Y was on his way home when he was offered a lift in a vehicle driven by D1.  There were 2 other passengers in the car.  D1 who was aged 15 at the time had stolen the vehicle just hours before. 

Neither Y or the other passengers in the vehicle were aware (1) that the car had been stolen or (2) that D1 was only 15 years old. 

Y was sat in the back of the vehicle, behind the passenger seat.  He was not wearing a seatbelt.

The car pulled up to a set of red traffic lights, and a policeman on a motorbike noticed the car did not have any lights on.   It was dusk and the policeman approached the car to ask D1 to put his lights on.

The motorbike pulled up level with the driver's window, and tried to get D1's attention.  On seeing the policeman D1 pulled his hood up and sped off.  A chase ensued.  D1 was driving in excess of the 30mph speed limit and as he rounded a bend the car crashed into parked vehicles at the side of the road and spun off hitting a tree.  The force of the crash caused Y to be thrown forward over the front passenger seat.  

Y was taken by ambulance to hospital.  He suffered serious head injuries and died approximately 18 hours later on 18/05/2010.  

Criminal proceedings were commenced against D1 and he pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to 2 years in a Young Offender's Institute.  The other passengers were acquitted.

Legal Proceedings

The car driven by D1 was insured with D2.   Initially, an application was made to the MIB under the Uninsured Driver's scheme.  This was rejected on the basis that the vehicle was insured and the MIB nominated D2 to deal with the claim.

A Letter of Claim was sent to D2 on 09/12/2011.  D2 made no admission with regard to liability.

Proceedings were issued against limitation on 10/05/2013 and served on both D1 and D2 on 20/06/2013.

An amicable settlement of the claim was reached with D2 in the sum of £17,722, reduced by 25% to £13,291.51 on 17/07/2013.  

Settlement

A breakdown of the settlement figure is as follows:

Bereavement award: £11,800

General Damages: £1,000

Funeral Expenses: £4,806.06

A 25% reduction was applied to take into account that Y was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

D also agreed to pay X's costs of the case, which had been run under a Conditional Fee Agreement, and was subject to a fixed success fee.

 

For the Claimant: 

Solicitor:  Sarah Towler, Russell-Cooke  

Counsel: Perrin Gibbons of 9 Gough Square Chambers

For the Defendant:

Greenwoods Solicitors