David Bentley was forced into early retirement because of his injuries.
A Buckinghamshire man has secured a six-figure compensation settlement after being hit by a drunk driver.
David Bentley (67) from Milton Keynes suffered life-changing injuries in November 2018 following a head-on collision with another driver, speeding and on the wrong side of the road. The crash occurred on Claverhambury Road in Waltham Abbey, Essex.
The collision left Mr Bentley, a search dog handler, with fractures to his ribs, sternum, left wrist, both legs, and feet. In addition to the physical injuries, two search dogs in his vehicle died in the collision – causing him to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Since the incident, Mr Bentley has undergone multiple operations with many metal plates, and screws implanted in his feet and legs, and is still receiving treatment and physiotherapy. Mr Bentley has been forced to take early retirement from his role.
The collision has had a devastating impact on my life. The actions of a drunk driver have not only affected me personally, in terms of my physical and psychological health and well-being but also caused severe distress to my wife, children and grandchildren.
In April 2020, the other driver was sentenced to four months in prison and disqualified from driving for five years. He was uninsured and was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.
Mr Bentley turned to his wife’s union, the NASUWT, to seek legal support with Thompsons Solicitors through her membership.
Without an insurance company to take action against, Thompsons took the claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau before securing a six-figure compensation settlement. The MIB was established in 1946 and compensates the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced drivers. It is funded by the insurance industry.
Mr Bentley said: “The collision has had a devastating impact on my life. The actions of a drunk driver have not only affected me personally, in terms of my physical and psychological health and well-being but also caused severe distress to my wife, children and grandchildren.
“I can no longer physically do many activities I used to do before the incident. I love doing DIY and gardening, but I’m restricted now as I can’t climb ladders and find kneeling on the ground difficult.
“Thank goodness I could access free legal advice and claim compensation through my wife’s trade union membership. Making a legal claim can be daunting, but my solicitor, Kam, has been fantastic – professional and friendly throughout.”
Kam Singh, a senior lawyer and solicitor at Thompsons’ London office, who represented Mr Bentley, said:
“I cannot begin to imagine what Mr Bentley has been through due to one person’s reckless actions.
“He’s been left with life-changing physical injuries and is still dealing with the trauma of losing two much-loved dogs.
“Despite the driver being uninsured, we claimed against the Motors Insurers Bureau and secured a satisfactory compensation settlement, which will hopefully aid Mr Bentley during his rehabilitation and enable him and his family to approach the future with renewed optimism.
“This case highlights the huge benefits of trade union membership and the benefits for family members.”
Injured on the roads? Help and compensation is close at hand.
If you’ve been injured on the roads in the last three years, our expert road traffic accident solicitors can support you. Whether you were injured as the driver or passenger in a vehicle, or as a pedestrian or cyclist, you may be able to claim for damages.
Unlike other firms, Thompsons only ever acts for the injured person – never for insurance companies. This means we will fight harder to secure the maximum level of compensation for your injuries, and not try to please motor insurance paymasters.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation assessment of whether you have a claim for compensation following a road accident.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.