A teenage moped rider, who suffered life changing injuries when he was involved in a collision with a minibus, has been told he must accept fifty percent liability for the accident.
Benjamin Woodham, of Thurston, in Suffolk, was just sixteen years old when the moped he was riding collided with a minibus, on the A143 in Bury St. Edmunds.
The Bury Free Press is reporting that Mr. Woodham who is now twenty, suffered serious injuries to his head and spine in the road traffic accident and is now confined to a wheelchair.
He launched a claim for personal injury compensation against the minibus owners, Turner’s of Great Barton, who denied responsibility but were found to be 70% liable by a High Court judge.
However this decision has now been overturned after the bus company’s insurers challenged the verdict at the Court of Appeal.
The court was told that the moped rider was overtaking a queue of stationary traffic, which had been forced to stop at temporary lights; however a tractor near the front of the line of traffic had left a gap to allow vehicles to turn right onto the A143.
The bus driver had been edging out through this gap but admitted that her line of vision was obscured by the tractor, lawyers for the bus firm argued that Mr. Woodham should have been more aware of the situation and reduced his speed to allow for vehicles emerging from the gap.
The appeal court ruled that both parties were equally at fault and any amount of damages paid should be assessed on a fifty percent liability.
The actual amount of compensation involved will be decided at a later hearing.