Edinburgh woman wins £3.3m after fatal car crash

Christina Vibert and Ross Graham.
Christina Vibert and Ross Graham.
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A woman badly injured in a car accident that claimed the life of her partner has won a £3.3 million payout after she maintained the crash was caused by him driving at excessive speed.

Christina Vibert, 31, suffered a cardiac arrest in the collision but she was resuscitated and suffered complex facial fractures as well as a brain injury.

Her partner, mechanic Ross Graham, 22, was killed when the car he was driving was trapped beneath the trailer of a lorry when he ploughed into it at a roundabout.

She sought compensation from Zenith Insurance, who insured Mr Graham’s Honda CRX, in an action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The insurer has now agreed to pay the mother-of-two £3.3m to settle the case.

Miss Vibert was wearing a seatbelt as a front seat passenger in the vehicle when the accident happened in Edinburgh in January 2013.

Zenith Insurance claimed that another driver had been racing Mr Graham at the time of the collision and said he should have to pay part of the compensation.

However, following a court hearing, a judge has found that the crash was entirely the fault of Mr Graham, who was said to have smoked cannabis before driving.

In a written ruling, Lady Clark said: “Even if the third party was careless in his driving, and I make no such finding, I am unable to identify anything in relation to his driving which caused or materially contributed to the collision.”

The couple were driving to Ikea to buy furniture for their one-month-old baby when the tragedy happened at a ­roundabout in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, on 6 January 2013.

Witnesses told the hearing Mr Graham had driven at up to 60mph on the B701 Wester Hailes road – which has a 40mph limit – and failed to give way at the roundabout.

Following the crash Miss Vibert underwent lengthy surgery before being transferred to a specialist hospital for rehabilitation which continued into 2014.

She can move slowly over very short distances with the aid of a crutch or walking stick, but needs a wheelchair for longer distances.

In her damages claim it was said that her home in Edinburgh is unsuitable for her needs as it lacks space and is not wheelchair accessible.

She was said to have enjoyed “a warm and close relationship” with her children but had struggled to care for them since the accident.