A former world-class sailor, whose career was ended in a car crash, has been awarded £464,655 compensation for injuries in a fatal road traffic accident.
Rosie Sands from Exmouth in Devon was a Gold Standard sailor and honours degree student when, in July 2012, she was visiting friends in Northern Ireland. Rosie (29) and the friends she was staying with had just collected another friend – Michelle Hulford (21) – when the car the party was travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with a jeep on the A57 just outside the town of Doagh in County Antrim.
Tragically Michelle was fatally injured in the accident. Rosie, the driver of the car and her two other friends were taken to hospital with multiple injuries. Rosie received treatment for injuries to her abdomen, back, and shoulder; but, after she had returned to Exmouth, Rosie continued to experience flashbacks and nightmares. She was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Rosie claimed compensation for injuries in a fatal road traffic accident against the driver of the jeep – Stephen Hamilton – after seeking legal advice. Hamilton admitted that the accident had been caused by his negligence, but the two parties could not agree on a settlement of compensation. Consequently the claim was heard by the High Court in Belfast for the assessment of damages only.
At the hearing, Mr Justice Adrian Colton was told Rosie´s injuries had prevented her from sailing competitively and completing her honours degree in religion and education at Bath Spa University. The judge also heard Rosie´s life had changed “irrevocably” due to her injuries and that her plans to join the RAF or Navy after completing her degree had to be abandoned due to her injuries.
After commenting that the evidence Rosie had given in support of her claim had been “honest, understated, stoical and admirable”, Judge Colton awarded her £464,655 compensation for injuries in a fatal road traffic accident to account for her pain and suffering, the cost of medical treatment and Rosie´s loss of income.