A man who was injured as a passenger in a van driven by a drunk driver has received a substantial payment for his serious personal injury.
Darren Best was paralysed when the van he was travelling in crashed into the gates of Overstone Hall stately home. The van was being driven by his friend Damion Smyth, who later gave a reading of 166mg of alcohol in his blood stream (the legal limit is 80mg).
Mr Best suffered a serious spinal injury in the accident which has left him paralysed from the waist down. He now requires the use of a wheelchair and has specific care needs.
He has just been awarded an interim payment of £650,000, before a hearing to decide the full amount of compensation. This was possible as liability has already been admitted by Mr Smyth for the incident. The full amount of the claim is expected to be in the region of £2 million pounds, although this could be affected by legal issues regarding Mr Best’s part in the accident. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time, and got into the van with the knowledge that his friend had been drinking with him, and was most likely unfit to drive.
An interim payment was necessary in this case to cover the costs of Mr Best’s care before the full hearing can be heard. This includes adapting a property to make it acceptable to his changed needs.