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Parker v Neil, High Court, 7 November 2003

24 November 2003
The issues

Road Traffic Accident – pedestrian – person in the road.

The facts

The Defendant was driving on a rural road in Essex. The Claimant was lying on the road. The Defendant saw what he thought was an empty bag and did nothing other than take his foot off the accelerator. On nearing the obstacle, he saw that it was a person. He braked but was unable to avoid a collision. The Claimant sued for damages for personal injury.

The decision

1. On the evidence, the Claimant was not visible to the driver of the vehicle before the time at which he applied his brakes.

2. It was unlikely that anyone would be lying prone on a rural road and in the circumstances it was not unreasonable for the driver to have taken no other evasive action than he did on seeing what he perceived to be an obstacle.

Claim dismissed.

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