£35k paid to drivers hit by police vehicles

Lawyers claim the vehicle which hit Laura Boyd had its lights flashing

BOSSES at one of Scotland’s largest police forces have been ordered to pay £35,000 in compensation to two drivers.

Laura Boyd was awarded £22,500 and Sheryl Skelton received £12,500 in damages after being involved in separate collisions with Lothian and Borders police vehicles.

Ms Boyd required surgery and was left with facial scars. The 37 year-old was seeking £75,000 after her car was struck by a police van responding to an emergency call.

Following the collision in Pumpherston, West Lothian, which left her in agony, lawyers for the force tried to blame the incident on Ms Boyd.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh awarded Mrs Skelton’s pay-out after her Peugeot was struck by a Toyota Avensis police car.

The customer services adviser was slowing down on theGilmerton Roadas a bus emerged when the accident happened in February 2009.

The 33 year old needed physiotherapy to treat a neck injury and also suffered from “vivid nightmares” some time after.

She also suffered whiplash and was off work for three or four weeks.

Mrs Skelton said: “I still have problems with the whiplash when I’m doing things which involve bending. It can be painful.”

Mrs Skelton, of Newtongrange, who received around £6000 once legal fees and costs had been deducted, added: “The driver admitted liability straight away but it was still a bit of a nightmare to get the compensation sorted out.”

Lawyers for Ms Boyd put forward her case following the incident in November 2007.

The accounts assistant had been driving herToyotawhen she slowed to let a police van pass.

Ms Boyd said she checked her mirrors and indicated before continuing towards a junction when a second police van smashed into her, without the siren on.

Ms Boyd, ofFalkirk, suffered whiplash and “significant facial lacerations resulting in permanent, obvious and disfiguring scarring”.

Her lawyers also said that this left her “embarrassed and self-conscious”.
Lawyers defending the force claimed that although the siren may not have been on, the lights were and would have been seen if Ms Boyd checked her mirrors.

They also argued: “The accident was caused by [Ms Boyd] electing to make a right turn when she could have seen the police vehicle behind.”
Last year, 205 accidents involving police vehicles occurred on Lothian roads.

Eight members of the public suffered injuries and seven police officers were also hurt.

A police spokesman said, “Unfortunately, there are occasions when the public suffer injury or sustain damage to their property as a result of police action and in these cases the force recognises the importance of providing compensation.”