May 18, 2016
A judge has awarded a former world-class competitive sailor compensation for serious injuries in an Antrim car crash after a hearing at Laganside High Court.
In July 2012, twenty-nine year old Rosie Sands from Exmouth in Devon had been invited to stay with some friends of her family in Northern Ireland after having just competed in the World Sailing Championships. Also invited to stay was a long-time friend of Rosie´s – Michelle Hulford from Luton.
The party of friends had just picked up Michelle from the airport, and were driving home along the A57, when their car was involved in head-on collision with a jeep and trailer just outside the town of Doagh. Michelle (21) was killed in the collision, while Rosie and the other occupants of the car were taken to hospital with multiple injuries.
On her discharge from hospital – where she was treated for back shoulder and abdomen injuries – Rosie claimed compensation for serious injuries in an Antrim car crash. In her legal action, she claimed that the flashbacks and nightmares she continued to suffer had resulted in a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The driver of the jeep responsible for causing the accident – Stephen Hamilton – admitted liability for Rosie´s injuries; but the two parties could not agree on a settlement of compensation for serious injuries in an Antrim car crash, and the case was sent to the Laganside High Court in Belfast where it was heard by Mr Justice Adrian Colton.
At the hearing, Judge Colton was told the Rosie´s life had changed “irrevocably” after the accident. The judge heard how, due to her injuries, Rosie was unable to complete her honours degree at Bath Spa University or continue to sail competitively, and that she had to abandon plans to join the Navy or RAF.
After commenting that Rosie had been a “honest, understated, stoical and admirable” witness, Judge Colton awarded her £464,655 compensation for serious injuries in an Antrim car crash to account for her physical and psychological injuries, the cost of her treatment and future loss of income.