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Home > News > Breach of regulations governing road signage leads to serious head injuries

12th January 2009

Breach of regulations governing road signage leads to serious head injuries

Strict guidelines and regulations are in place to ensure that any work on our roads, or temporary changes to the road conditions are clearly signed.

The objective of these regulations is to ensure that traffic approaching these potential hazards is warned in sufficient time to alter their speed or take such action as is necessary to ensure they are able to navigate the hazard safely and avoid road traffic accidents.

Our client received a serious head injury when he lost control of his motorbike on a stretch of road which had been recently repaired, but which, at the time of his motorcycle accident, had no visible warning sign to alert him to the danger ahead.

Our specialist road traffic accident lawyers, who have extensive experience in both serious injury compensation claims, and motorcycle compensation claims, were asked for their personal injury claims advice on pursuing an accident claim for compensation on his behalf.

Loose chippings caused motorbike accident and serious injury

On the day of his road accident, our client had been travelling within the designated national speed limit, on a road he knew well. As he negotiated a sharp bend, he suddenly found that he was riding on loose chippings. He braked to try to reduce his speed, but the chippings caused him to lose control of the bike, and his wheels spun out from under him.

Serious motorcycle accident injuries

The serious nature of his injuries means that our client will continue to need 24-hour domestic care for the remainder of his life. This will require live-in carers to provide full-time care for our client, as well as support for the family.

Like many people who find themselves in catastrophic life changing situations such as these, the family home is not adequate to provide for these on-going needs. The family will need to purchase not only a more accessible property but also equipment and aids to make life as comfortable as possible for our client, given the nature and severity of his injuries.

Pursuing a motorcycle compensation claim for serious head injuries

The repair work on the road at the accident site had been carried out under the authority of the local council, whose negligent actions had resulted in a breach of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

Our personal injury solicitors brought the claim for accident compensation for personal injury on the grounds that the defendant had not provided adequate supervision for the operative who carried out the work. Neither had the operative received sufficient training to ensure his full understanding of the requirements of the Act.

At the completion of the work, the operative had not only failed to secure the signage that had been provided, but he had failed to check that the sign was still in place during the intervening days prior to the road traffic accident. The Act requires that signage remain in place until the condition of the road is such that any hazard to traffic has ceased.

In addition, the operative had relied on the passage of slow-moving vehicle tyres to embed the chippings. However, the Code of Practice for Surface Dressing, produced by the Road Surface Dressing Association, recommends that this method of embedding should not be adopted as the sole method. Some other method of rolling should have been applied to aid the initial fixing of the chippings.

Since the sign had not been effective in slowing down the approaching traffic, the chippings had not been correctly embedded. The fast moving traffic had merely served to scatter them across the width of the road where they would remain loose and a hazard to all road users.

Serious injury compensation for motorbike injuries

This was an extremely serious and complex case and it was critical that all the evidence was investigated in detail to ensure that our client received the personal injury compensation to which he was entitled, and which would allow him to lead as comfortable a life as was possible in the circumstances.

Our personal injury lawyers issued court proceedings against the local authority but were able to settle the claim before trial. We were able to secure a substantial six-figure sum in compensation for our client’s serious head injury, which ensures that his family will be able to provide appropriate care and facilities for his needs. The sum also ensures that his dependants will be financially secure following the motorcycle accident that robbed him of his ability to provide for them.

Road traffic accident compensation claims

Clear Answers’ lawyers are specialists in all types of serious injuries, many of which result from road traffic accidents. We have teams of experts waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your claim. Our advisers will be happy to talk you through the compensation claim process in plain English, to provide you with expert legal advice, and to answer any questions you may have regarding your personal injury claim.

If you or a family member has been injured in a road traffic accident, or any other serious injury such as head or brain injury, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

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