Last week The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of a mother who claimed that Sussex County Council were liable for her car crash on a poorly maintained road. It is now thought that she will launch a road accident compensation claim for her injuries. Sarah Russell was driving her son to school back in 2004 when the Volkswagen Golf that she was driving left the A29 and smashed into a tree. The Court of Appeal ruled that 50% liability for the incident lay with the state of the road surface. They found there to be a depressed verge on the side of the road some 6 inches lower than the road itself. It is thought that the action of her front wheel dipping into this verge threw Mrs Russell’s car off the road and into the tree.
Mrs Russell suffered severe head injuries after the crash and was in a coma for a significant period of time. It took 6 months of therapy to get her to walk again. The Court stated that Mrs Russell’s’ speed of 45mph at the time of crash – the speed limit on the road was 60 mph – was too fast for the icy conditions and ruled her 50% responsible for the accident. Her solicitor is confident that even with 50% liability, Mrs Russell’s road accident compensation claim is likely to be settled in the region of £500,000 due to the seriousness of her injuries.