Twin Scottish sisters are taking their fight for damages to the High Court in London after a crash that left one of them with life changing injuries and the other suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Anna Khan, 22, was crossing a road in Dinnington, Sheffield, when she was hit by a car and suffered grievous injuries, according to a writ issued at the High Court and recently made publicly available.
The writ says her twin sister Lauren then developed psychiatric injuries in the aftermath of seeing the accident which changed Anna’s life forever.
The driver, Ian Burnell, from Sheffield, and his insurers EUI blame Miss Khan for the accident, and say he had only one second to react as she ran in front of him. They say she was partly hidden by a bus.
Now the High Court in London will decide on the case as the sisters, from East Craigs, Edinburgh, seek compensation from Mr Burnell and EUI, trading as Admiral Insurance, of Cardiff.
The writ says the accident happened as the women, and their friend Luke Booth, took the bus to get home after enjoying a concert at Rotherham College on 10 December 2015.
The group got off the bus, Miss Khan is said to have followed her friend Mr Booth across the road, which has a 40mph speed limit, but as she did so she is said to have been hit by Mr Burnell’s black Skoda Octavia car.
Both women accuse Mr Burnell of negligently failing to slow down, failing to keep a proper look out, failing to pay attention adequately, failing to brake in time, and hitting Miss Khan when he should have been on notice of pedestrians after Mr Booth crossed the road.
Miss Khan was rushed to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, a major trauma centre, with a severe head injury, and a fractured right thigh as well as other injuries.
She underwent surgery and was then transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital for treatment to her head injury. She remained on a ventilator until Boxing Day 2015, and she remained in hospital until 22 March. She is unlikely ever to be able to live independently or manage her own affairs, or work, and will probably need care and support for the rest of her life, the writ says.
Lauren Khan says she suffered post traumatic stress disorder as a result of directly witnessing the aftermath of the accident, and feels that her life has been on hold since. She has not felt able to go to university as planned, and will probably suffer a loss of earnings in future, she claims.
She is seeking damages of up to £50,000 while Anna Khan, who sues through her father Agha Khan, is seeking unlimited damages of more than £200,000. But if she succeeds on a full liability basis her claim could result in an award running into millions of pounds, which could include the cost of care for the rest of her life.
Mr Burnell disputes he was negligent and blames Anna Khan for the accident. He says he was unable to see the pair as he approached the junction, because they were blocked from view by the bus, which was waiting at the junction to turn left.
He was driving at about 32mph, when Mr Booth ran across the road, closely followed by Anna Khan who hit his car, he says. The two were visible to him for less than one second before Mr Booth suddenly ran across the road, he says.