A girl who suffered life-changing injuries after she was hit by a car is at risk of losing her compensation award because she was not wearing a high visibility jacket.
Bethany Probert, 16, has been cleared by a High Court judge of contributing to the accident, but the insurers of the driver who ran her over, Churchill, have been given leave to appeal against her compensation award.
Lord Justice Ward has declared a consideration in the compensation claim was whether or not Bethany, who was 13-years-old at the time, should have been wearing a high visibility jacket.
She was walking home from a riding stable, where she had visited her horse Troy, when the accident occurred.
Bethany was hit by a car driven by Paul Moore, who was on his way to work. He moved to one side to let passing traffic through but failed to see Bethany and knocked her over.
He searched for her until he found her in a ditch. Bethany was rushed to hospital and her parents were told she would not survive the accident.
However, a month later she was back at home. However, she now has problems with memory loss and suffers from physical disability.
She is seeking compensation of between £3m and £5m to pay for her ongoing care needs.
The High Court held Churchill fully liable for the compensation.
However, following the leave to appeal, a spokesperson for Churchill said: “While we accept that our insured was liable in part for the accident, we are appealing the decision that he was entirely to blame.”
Bethany’s mother said: “Before the accident, Bethany was just a normal teenager. She was a very bright kid – an A* student – who loved being outside.”
Bethany now requires the use of a wheelchair on occasion, and is beset by seizures.
The family solicitor added: “We’re reasonably confident that the appeal will be rejected, but it could be six to 18 months before the case comes before the Court of Appeal.
“We will ask if the court can speed things up because of Bethany’s needs.”