Following a lengthy investigation and criminal trial, in which its defendant was found guilty, insurance company RSA finally concede that its client, HGV driver John Taylor, was 100% culpable for the RTA that left Veronika Pete with ‘life changing injuries’.
Almost two and a half years ago Veronika Pete, from central London, was cycling along Marble Arch on her way to work as a marketing consultant in the capital.
A heavy bullion vehicle, driven by John Taylor, was travelling the same route. After initially spotting Veronika, the driver lost sight of her and assumed she’d turned off at the Edgeware Road junction.
Unbeknownst to Mr Taylor, she was still cycling in front of his vehicle as he attempted to change lane.
However, she disappeared into a blind spot and would otherwise have been seen had the HGV been fitted with mirrors that all similar new vehicles are as standard.
Life-changing injuries mean a long road to recovery
As the driver edged left into the exit lane, Veronika was dragged beneath the lorry’s wheels, resulting in severe damage of one leg and the other having to be amputated above the knee.
These life-altering injuries remain despite being rushed to Paddington’s St Mary’s hospital at the time and subsequently transferred to Charing Cross.
There, Veronika received months of treatment for spinal and other injuries suffered in the horrendous accident and is now adapting to the restrictions she finds herself facing for the rest of her life.
RSA concede maximum compensation just weeks before trial
Remarkably, despite Mr Taylor being fined and having points added to his license at the criminal trial last summer, RSA persisted in driving for a 20% reduction in personal injury compensation, insisting that Veronika was at least partly responsible for the accident.
However, as the trial approached last month, lawyers for RSA accepted that its client’s driver was 100% responsible for the accident due to the lack of appropriate visibility-increasing mirrors and safety equipment.
Veronkia Pete, now mostly restricted to a wheelchair but learning to walk with a prosthetic limb, will proceed with her personal injury claim unchallenged.
Don’t let insurance companies bully you, warns victim
Speaking out after the defence had agreed to allow its client to be judged, Veronika proved to be a fighter mentally as well as physically.
She hopes that what she has been through will serve as a warning to insurers who fight the corner despite so much evidence pointing to their culpability.
But more importantly, she hopes her trials and tribulations will be a beacon for other victims.
She asked that others ‘stay strong’ when insurance companies try to bully their way into a position that will see them paying out less for compensation claims than they ought.
Especially when, as in her case, the evidence so strongly supports the plaintiff’s case and the insurance company is literally just testing the ground to see what they can get away with not paying.