A claim for Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation, made by a passenger in a fatal car crash, has been settled at the High Court in Belfast.
In July 2012, Rosie Sands (29) – an accomplished sailor and honours degree student from Exmouth in Devon – was staying with friends in Northern Ireland. Rosie and her friends had just collected another friend – 21-year-old Michelle Hulford – from Belfast Airport when the car they were travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with a jeep on the A57 outside Doagh in County Antrim.
Michelle was tragically killed in the accident, while Rosie, the driver of the car and two other passengers were taken to hospital with multiple injuries. Rosie was treated for injuries to her back, abdomen and shoulder; but, on her return to Exmouth, she continued to suffer from flashbacks and nightmares, and was diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
After seeking legal advice from a solicitor, Rosie made a claim for Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation against the driver of the jeep – Stephen Hamilton. Hamilton admitted liability for causing the accident in which Rosie and her friends were injured, but no agreement could be reached on the amount of compensation she was entitled to.
Consequently the claim for Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation was heard by Mr Justice Adrian Colton at the High Court in Belfast. At the hearing, the judge was told that Rosie´s injuries had prevented her from completing her honours degree in religion and education at Bath Spa University and competing in the British Sailing Championships.
Judge Colton also heard how Rosie´s life had changed “irrevocably” due to her injuries. Previously a Gold Standard sailor who had competed in the World Sailing Championship, Rosie´s injuries, Rosie was now unable to sail competitively. The judge was also told that Rosie had to abandon a planned career in the RAF or Navy.
Commenting that the evidence Rosie had given in support of her Antrim road traffic accident injury compensation had been “honest, understated, stoical and admirable”, Judge Colton awarded her £464,655 compensation in respect of her pain and suffering, loss of income and to cover the costs of her medical treatment.