Six years on, family wins fight for damages in Bristol road accident tragedy. Toby Phethean-Hubble was a teenager, full of life and enjoyed spending his time outdoors, riding his bike and being with friends. But all that changed in November 2005 when he was out riding his bike near Whitchurch leisure centre. He was hit by a car driven by teenager who had only recently passed his driver’s test.
The impact of the collision threw Toby on the windscreen and over the roof of the car before he hit the ground. He sustained traumatic brain injuries. Today, he is confined to a wheelchair and has trouble communicating. His mother, Shani Phethean-Hubble, said that he is like a prisoner in his own body since it does not do what he wants it to do. Toby, who was a student at St Bernadette Secondary School, is being cared for at The Woodmill in Cullompton, Devon – a site run by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust and receives stupendous care. It has taken six years for three of the country’s top judges to finally reach a ruling on their car accident claimscase, that it was the teenage driver, was using his mom’s automatic car for the first time that day, to hold primary liability. This is because he was 5mph more than the stipulated 30 mph.
At the same time, they also found that 50 per cent of Toby’s present condition was a result of his own actions that night. This will bring down his compensation by half, despite which, it will go into millions of pounds and will take some time for the family to actually see the money. The family has made Toby’s story public, in order to educate others on the damages that road traffic accidentscan cause, even if the car is being driven at 5mph more than the stated speed.
Talking on Toby’s present condition and brain damage, his mother says that before the accident, Toby was very active and was involved in sailing, rugby and orienteering. He even loved photography. However, being confined to a wheelchair now is a nightmare for him. He no longer has a social life and may never have a family of his own which is devastating for him, since he loves children.
After the accident, life has been traumatic for his family. They felt that the manner in which the defendant’s insurance company handled their claim was bad and felt as though the family had to apologize for Toby having lived through the surgery. Winning a favorable judgment is not about the money, but more about being able to bring Toby back home and try to go back to the kind of life they had before the accident.
In the recent ruling, it was adjudged that the driver of the car was 5mph more than speed limit and it was agreed on that he had enough of time to react. At the same time, it was also agreed that Toby made a mistake by leaving the path and coming straight in the way of oncoming traffic, endangering himself. Unless the court is able to come to a final settlement, there is going to be uncertainty for the family. The two year window for any form of treatment was lost when the insurers did not accept liability. These are cases where no win no fee solicitors can make the most difference.
John Webster from Augustines Injury Law and Toby’s representative, said that no one can comprehend the trauma that family has undergone and it was now necessary to. Brain injuries can also make big changes to the famalies who are involved as well as the victim also brain injuries are also common in accidents at work and many other types of personal injury cases like even slip trips.
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