An ASLEF member who suffered a horrendous car accident has received £360,000 in compensation.

The 39-year-old, formerly from County Durham but now living in Holsworthy, Devon, suffered extensive injuries to his back and neck after his car was forced off a busy dual carriageway.

He was driving his Ford Fiesta on the A66 dual carriageway towards Stockton with his wife when the accident happened in September 2006.

He had driven across to the outside lane to allow a 4x4 towing a horsebox to move onto the dual carriageway but the 4x4 pulled straight over into the outside lane hitting the Fiesta forcing it off the road and down a banking.

The car rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof in a field.

Soft tissue injuries to back and neck

The freight train driver suffered from soft tissue injuries to his back and neck leaving him with ongoing pain and limited movement. He also suffered other milder injuries to his head, shoulder and chest.

He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and needed counselling.

He was forced to give up his job working as a train driver for EWS Railways, a company he had worked with since he left school, because he was unable to cope with the physical element of the job including climbing up into and down from the trains and operating levers.

He has since started his own business as a locksmith but is unlikely to achieve the same level of earnings he had while working on the railway.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following the accident he contacted his union ASLEF which instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Thompsons was successful in settling the claim out of court.

The member said: “The long term impact of this accident has been much more extensive than my initial injuries. I’ve been left with restricted movement in my neck which meant I could no longer work as a train driver.

“We’ve now had to relocate from County Durham so I could set up as a self employed locksmith. I’m fortunate I’ve been able to find work in this way but I realise that, as well as living with the physical limitations I now have I will never earn as much as I did whilst on the railways.”

ASLEF’s general secretary Keith Norman said: “It’s one of the benefits of ASLEF membership that we offer our members and their families free legal advice whether their accident occurs in or out of work. Many people involved in car accidents fall into the trap of using lawyers who are ‘recommended’ by their insurers when in reality their case has been sold to the highest bidder. The service we offer ensures our members get personal attention and first class representation.”

Michael Bray from Thompsons Solicitors added: “We are confident we achieved the best possible outcome. The carelessness of the 4x4 driver forced the client to give up working as a train driver and as a result he had to take a significant pay cut. Fortunately his injuries though long lasting are not life threatening.”