Seven-figure payout for lollipop lady who suffered life-changing injuries

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A LOLLIPOP lady who needs 24-hour care after being hit by a car while on duty in South Tyneside has received a seven-figure compensation payout.

Eleanor Harman, 62, from South Shields, suffered a brain injury after she was hit by a car while working as a lollipop lady opposite the house where she lives on Beach Road in February 2011.

She suffered severe memory loss and underwent life-saving surgery as she spent three weeks in a high-dependency unit and nearly a year in hospital recovering.

The mum-of-two left with profound disabilities as a result of the accident and has difficulties with short-term memory, fatigue and concentration and requires 24-hour care.

Now Mrs Harman has been awarded the seven-figure sum to cover the cost of her care needs.

Husband Harry, 73, said: “I was devastated when I found out about Eleanor’s accident, which happened right outside our house. We have to deal with the consequences every day as Eleanor’s injuries mean she is simply unable to have the same independence as before.

“We are hugely relieved that the settlement has been agreed as it means we can prepare for the future knowing that my wife will receive the specialist care, support and rehabilitation she needs for the rest of her life.

“Eleanor has already made a remarkable recovery to get to where she is now. She underwent life-saving surgery and it was terrifying. At least now we will be able to access further expert treatment and equipment to help her to live with more independence once again.”

The family instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who secured the undisclosed out-of-court settlement which will help pay for suitable accommodation adapted to Mrs Harman’s needs and cover her on-going 24-hour care costs.

John Davis, a partner and specialist serious injury lawyer, said: “The settlement will be a massive relief for Eleanor and her husband as it give them the peace of mind that her care needs will now be taken care of and we can ensure she has the specialist support and rehabilitation that she now needs to help with her recovery and to be able to live more independently. It must be remembered that this is not a lottery win, it is a carefully calculated amount of money to service Eleanor’s needs. It will be used to pay for an adapted accommodation, specialist equipment and care and therapy to help her get her life back on track as much as possible.”

“The accident has turned their lives upside down and life will never be the same for them. They would clearly rather this had not happened and Eleanor had not suffered her head injuries but at least now they can begin to look to the future.”

Driver Margaret Boyles, of Fox Avenue, South Shields, was fined £95 and ordered to pay costs last year after being found guilty of driving without due care and attention in relation to the incident. She also received four penalty points on her licence. She had told police that as she travelled down the road she became blinded by the sun.

Expert evidence showed that she was driving at just 17 to 20mph but that she failed to bring her vehicle to a stop before colliding with Mrs Harman.