Compensation changes victim lives

Many people have a tendency to take their safety for granted when travelling in cars and other vehicles on British roads. Unfortunately, the slender panels of steel or aluminium that appear to protect the occupants of a vehicle from the external world do not always provide adequate safety. In the case of high speed accidents, the fragility of cars can become truly apparent – and usually with devastating consequences. In fact, over 3,000 deaths occur on British roads each year as a result of car accidents, whilst a further 30,000 or so people are seriously injured. Although the facts make for a depressing read, they are nonetheless useful in helping to educate drivers on the importance of driving sensibly – not just for their own safety but also that of others. Nevertheless, serious accidents continue to occur with alarming frequency on British roads, which result in a significant number of personal injury claims.

One case that was recently published by the media is that of Lukasz Borowski, a 27 year old from Poland who had entered the UK in 2004 in order to find work as a chef. Whilst travelling to a fruit and vegetable packing plant in Cambridgeshire during the winter of 2005, Mr. Borowski was involved in a car accident that has since changed his life forever. Sustaining truly catastrophic injuries in the incident, Mr. Borowski was lucky to survive the crash that came about when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control and swerved into a deep ditch adjacent to the road. Having been airlifted to hospital by helicopter, Mr. Borowski’s injuries were so severe that his life hung in the balance; indeed, Mr. Borowski suffered a fractured spine, damaged spinal cord and broken vertebrae, which caused permanent brain damage after it temporarily blocked the supply of oxygen to his brain.

Although Mr. Borowski was undoubtedly lucky to survive the crash, the debilitating injuries that will stay with him for the remainder of his life can hardly be described in the context of fortune. On the contrary, Mr. Borowski remains confined to a wheelchair and requires help with virtually every aspect of daily life. As such, a return to work is simply not possible for Mr. Borowski, who cannot even move without help from his wife, Ela. Having travelled to the UK in search of a better life, Mr. Borowski found misfortune of the highest order; however, his tale is one that will be tragically repeated on British roads for decades to come, as the driver of the vehicle that crashed had no insurance.

Mr. Borowski can hope for an improved future for himself, his wife and their unborn child, who is due in the spring of 2010. After receiving a settlement figure of £8 million, which had been reduced by 20 per cent from £10 million once it was established that Mr. Borowski had not been wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, it is hoped that Mr. Borowski and his family can reclaim some degree of a normal life. Following their move into a specially adapted bungalow in Featherstone, it is clear that the compensation awarded to Mr. Borowski is necessary in order provide adequate cover for a lifetime of expenses and lost work. Without such compensation, many victims would suffer in silence after sustaining either minor or significant injuries on Britain’s roads.

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