Teen left disabled after being hit by car told she could be partially responsible

Bethany Probert, 16, from Silverstone.
Bethany Probert, 16, from Silverstone.
Share this article

Lawyers representing a Northamptonshire teenager left disabled after being hit by a car have said the fact she could now be held partially responsible for the accident is ‘bizarre’.

Silverstone resident, Bethany Probert, aged 16, was walking along a country road near her home on December 3, 2009 when she was struck by a car in nearby Abthorpe Road.

She suffered a broken collarbone, lung damage and head injuries which have left her disabled.

The High Court has already found the driver’s insurers, Churchill, to be liable, but the firm has appealed, arguing the teenage pedestrian also shared some responsibility.

Her lawyer, Richard Langton, said claims the teenager was partly responsible because she was not wearing a high-visibility jacket were ‘crazy’.

He said: “We think it’s bizarre after the courts have made a decision the driver was to blame for the accident to now start blaming a 13-year-old girl for not wearing a reflective jacket. It’s very disappointing because it’s going to mean a lot of delay for her to get the compensation she needs to pay for her care.”

The teenager, who is still at school, needs her home adapting so she can live as normal a life as possible. Mr Langton said: “She needs the support of carers and a new home to live in because at present she’s living in a house with stairs she can’t get up. She needs the right equipment and support to live a normal life.”

The case is due to go to the Court of Appeal in the coming year. A spokesman for Churchill said: “While we accept that our insured driver was liable in part for the accident, we are appealing the decision that he was entirely to blame.”

Bethany Probert’s lawyers have said they are dismayed her compensation claim has still not been dealt with, more than three years after she was involved in the accident.
Richard Langton said: “It really is about time this issue was resolved after all these years.
“Bethany is a lovely girl and her personality still shines through after the accident, but her head injury means she has memory problems and concentration problems.
“She’s still at school and is working very hard, but her problems are going to impact on her ability to work in the future.”