Personal injury bulletin: liability

The claimant in Rainford v Lawrenson [2014] EWHC 1188 (QB) was walking, with her sister Vicky, from her home to a bus stop on the A588 to catch a bus to school. The claimant was aged 14 years and eight months. As the claimant crossed to reach the bus stop, she was knocked over by the defendant, sustaining severe injuries including a serious head injury.

The claimant’s sister was recorded by police as saying ‘her sister didn’t look but ran across the road to get her bus’. The defendant stated that she was driving to work as normal; there were cars coming the other way. As she approached the bus stop, she noticed there was a group of school children on her left-hand side on the grass verge. One of the group stepped out into the road. The defendant swerved into the offside carriageway to avoid her.

The court had to determine two related issues of: (i) whether the defendant had kept a proper lookout; and (ii) whether the claimant had been contributory negligent in that she was aware of the Green Cross Code and was of a certain maturity…

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