"The team at Irwin Mitchell has a ‘pre-eminent reputation’ for travel personal injury work"

Legal 500 (2016)

British Tourist Suffers Road Traffic Accident in New Mexico

Frank Emmott, a British tourist, had been on a month long trip to the United States in July and August 2008 when, during the final week of his holiday in San Juan, New Mexico, he was involved in a head on collision with a Dodge pick up truck as he drove through a Navajo Indian reservation in his hire car.

The other driver, Dennis Dugi, had swerved onto the wrong side of the road and was prosecuted for reckless driving after he was found to have been driving while drunk and without a licence or insurance.

Mr Emmott was rushed to a hospital intensive care unit in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was treated for a fractured skull, broken ribs, fluid on the lungs and two broken legs.

He underwent reconstructive surgery on his knee and was kept in intensive care for 15 days before being flown to Cardiff airport, where he spent a further 12 weeks in West Wales hospital in Carmarthen before beginning his recovery.

Mr Emmott’s substantial medical costs of over £100,000 were met by his travel insurers, however, because the other driver was not insured, Mr Emmott was left with the prospect of recovering no compensation for his serious injuries.

Mr Emmott had taken out the most basic insurance with his hire vehicle and this included cover of up to $100,000 for injuries sustained in the event of an accident, which included an excess of $15,000.  Irwin Mitchell were instructed in March 2009 and following extensive negotiations with the insurers were able to secure compensation in the sum of $85,000 for Mr Emmott, which he received in full in March 2010.

Had Mr Emmott taken out more comprehensive cover with his hire vehicle, he would have been entitled to damages up to a seven figure sum which would have been more commensurate to the substantial injuries he sustained.  However as a result of taking out travel insurance he was assured that his medical costs were covered in full and the basic motor insurance ensured that he was able to recover a small amount of compensation for his very serious injuries.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered a similar accident, please contact us.

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"We were very happy with the outcome of our case, especially as we were initially offered nothing from the Tour Operator. Irwin Mitchell were very professional throughout and we are very happy with the outcome."

Chris and Michael, Worksop