Sunderland woman loses personal injury claim against bus firm

A Go North East bus.
A Go North East bus.

A woman from Wearside has had a personal injury claim thrown out of court after new technology proved she wasn’t hurt in a collision with a bus.

CCTV camera footage and an accelerometer fitted to the bus disproved her claim that she was jolted backwards and forwards by the impact of a low speed crash - which she claimed caused her a neck and shoulder injury.

The case was heard at Sunderland County Court and is the latest of three recent, similar court cases won by bus firm Go North East.

Managing director of the transport firm Kevin Carr said: “The cases highlight the problem of a widespread assumption that any road traffic accident automatically results in a right to claim financial compensation.”

In September 2015, a Go North East bus collided with another bus whilst reversing out of a parking bay at a bus station.

The incident caused minor damage to one of the buses.

The on-board accelerometer showed that g-forces were low and the bus was travelling at just six to seven miles per hour – much slower than the passenger claimed.

One expert said the g-forces were at or below the level that could cause injury.

The judge in the case said: “Taking all of the evidence into account, my own observations of the footage, I am not satisfied that any injury that [the claimant] may have presented… was due to this accident.

“I do not find the claim proven and I dismiss the claim.”

The claimant was ordered by the court to pay Go North East’s costs, which are in excess of £5,000.

Mr Carr added: “We have an extremely low rate of accidents on our fleet of over 650 buses which travel around 35 million miles every year.

“Whenever there is a collision, we strive to make sure that anyone affected by it is supported accordingly.

“Dishonest claims of personal injury like this are not harmless because ultimately we all pay the price for them via rising costs of transport fares and vehicle insurance.

“We have cutting edge technology on all our buses now which helps us establish exactly the causation and extent of any collision that occurs.”