Loughborough man in France holiday crash horror gets six-figure pay-out
A man who suffered terrible injuries when he was hit by a car while on holiday in France has received a six-figure pay-out.
David Armes, who was a builder until the accident in June 2006, suffered internal bleeding in his head, a fractured collarbone and severe cuts and bruising.
The 72-year-old, of Loughborough, is now unable to work or drive as he struggles to walk and is unsteady on his feet.
Despite the trauma, Mr Armes said he feels lucky to be alive.
"I remember being hit, I remember flying through the air," he said. "It was a horrendous experience.
"I've had lots of operations and I'm scarred, but it's mainly mental scars. It caused a lot of damage.
"A lot of the time, I'll be talking and then I'll forget what I'm talking about. I'll use the wrong words – I know what I want to say, but I don't say it.
"But I'm still here and I can live with it. I feel lucky to be alive.
"My life has changed completely but I have to accept it."
Mr Armes was walking to a shop in Beuzeville, northern France, when he was hit by a car being driven by a French woman who apparently did not see him crossing the road.
He was taken to hospital and treated, but it was only when he returned to the UK that the seriousness of his head injuries was discovered and he was taken to hospital in Leicester.
Although Mr Armes's accident was in France, a change in European law meant lawyers could pursue his case against the driver's French insurance company through the courts in England.
The money he received, as well as compensating him for his pain and suffering, will help cover loss of earnings, the cost of rehabilitation and ongoing care.
"If it wasn't for my friends and family, I don't know how I would have coped," said Mr Armes, who had travel insurance.
"The amount of money I've received is not important, but what it shows is how important it is to have insurance.
"It has been horrendous, but if I hadn't had insurance it would have been even worse.
"I was semi-retired, doing part-time consultancy work when I was injured.
"I couldn't work for several years while I was recovering. I have worked on one project since, but it was tough and I'm now completely retired.
"I need to pay for things that I would have done myself before.
"I've got a big garden, which I love. I can't do it myself. The only way we can stay is to employ someone to work on it.
"I've also paid to have my bathroom done completely and the same with the kitchen. Before, I would have done most of the work myself."
Leane Shanks, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, who represented Mr Armes, said: "David had been living an active life, enjoying part-time work and spending time with family and friends.
"However his life was turned upside down by the accident. Thankfully, we were able to secure a settlement."