The ArgusMother battles for £300,000 pay-out after Littlehampton crash (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Mother battles for £300,000 pay-out after Littlehampton crash

A cyclist who was left permanently disabled after she was hit by a car has launched a legal battle for more than £300,000 compensation.

Tara Butterfill suffered a traumatic brain injury which left her deaf in her right ear, unable to walk for long periods without help and has stopped her from working as a Revenue and Customs officer.

Doctors told the 32-year-old mother-of-two that if the car had been travelling just one mile per hour faster she would have been killed in the crash.

She was cycling to work along Worthing Road in Littlehampton in March 2007 when she was hit on the back of her head by the car wing mirror.

She was in intensive care in Worthing Hospital for about a week with a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage and doctors were not sure if she would survive.

Ms Butterfill, who lives in Oak End, Arundel, with her partner Richard Lucas and children Sacha, 10, and Connor, 7, said: “The doctors were not expecting me to live. I came around and I just wanted to be at home. It was a horrible feeling.

“The first six months were really hard. I couldn’t do simple things like getting a loaf of bread and I can’t drive anymore.”

She now suffers from memory and concentration loss, poor motivation, balance problems and difficulty controlling her temper.

She is claiming damages from motorist Andrew Poole, from Wick, near Littlehampton, and his employers Lidbetter & Keith for the crash which she said changed her life.

She said: “I don’t hate the person that’s done it. I think accidents happen. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“What is unfortunate is it has changed who I am.

“I am not the same person I was. I used to take my kids to the beach and the park and I can’t now which I find quite hard.

“Also the children found it hard I think. I had a fracture in my head but to look at me you couldn’t see anything wrong. It was really hard for them to understand because if my arm was broken it would be in plaster but I just had a few scratches.”

Mr Poole was fined £200 with six penalty points by Worthing Magistrates on August 2008 after being convicted of careless driving.

Despite the ordeal, Ms Butterfill is philosophical about the crash.

She said: “I have been told I was so lucky. If that vehicle was going one mile per hour more I would not be here. But I don’t feel lucky.

“There is obviously a reason I am still here. You have to get through it because sitting in your bedroom feeling sorry for myself will not help will it? I have got the children to think of. I am still here because I am not finished I suppose.”

Lidbetter & Keith insurers Allianz admitted liability for the accident in July 2007.

Martin Saunders, Allianz technical claims manager, said: “The two sides are still talking. We are agreeing with Ms Butterfill and her legal team a remuneration programme and that has been ongoing since the accident.

“You can’t always mend people but you can do the best for them which is something we have done.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:26pm Thu 8 Apr 10

yorkie44 says...

How can somebody on a bike be hit on the back of the head with a car wing mirror? Lorry or bus perhaps, but not a car.
How can somebody on a bike be hit on the back of the head with a car wing mirror? Lorry or bus perhaps, but not a car. yorkie44
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Thu 8 Apr 10

micklin says...

was this cyclist wearing the proper safety equipment? ie; Helmet, flourescent clothing etc, were her lights working- if she had any and does she stop at red traffic lights or just carry on regardless. £300 grand seems a bit steep,i would knock a nought off at least, mind you she did work for HMRC!
was this cyclist wearing the proper safety equipment? ie; Helmet, flourescent clothing etc, were her lights working- if she had any and does she stop at red traffic lights or just carry on regardless. £300 grand seems a bit steep,i would knock a nought off at least, mind you she did work for HMRC! micklin
  • Score: 0

9:43pm Thu 8 Apr 10

TheInsider says...

micklin I wear all the correct cycle gear and I observe the road laws as I am also a driver and a motorcyclist. Depsite this, I was hit by a mum on the school run who admitted she was in a hurry and wasn't paying attention when she ploughed into me, catapulting me into a busy road.
She cried and said sorry. She had one of those 'child on board' signs in her car which asks other drivers to be aware of her precious load.
I too am someone's child, and someone's partner yet she didn't realise how dangerous a brief lapse of concentration can be.
We all need to take care of others as well as ourselves on the roads.
micklin I wear all the correct cycle gear and I observe the road laws as I am also a driver and a motorcyclist. Depsite this, I was hit by a mum on the school run who admitted she was in a hurry and wasn't paying attention when she ploughed into me, catapulting me into a busy road. She cried and said sorry. She had one of those 'child on board' signs in her car which asks other drivers to be aware of her precious load. I too am someone's child, and someone's partner yet she didn't realise how dangerous a brief lapse of concentration can be. We all need to take care of others as well as ourselves on the roads. TheInsider
  • Score: 0

6:56am Fri 9 Apr 10

Tye says...

yorkie44 wrote:
How can somebody on a bike be hit on the back of the head with a car wing mirror? Lorry or bus perhaps, but not a car.
do you just want to know the grizzly details or do you not believe the victim?

The insurance companies believe her!
[quote][p][bold]yorkie44[/bold] wrote: How can somebody on a bike be hit on the back of the head with a car wing mirror? Lorry or bus perhaps, but not a car.[/p][/quote]do you just want to know the grizzly details or do you not believe the victim? The insurance companies believe her! Tye
  • Score: 0

8:45am Fri 9 Apr 10

jon s says...

I don't think they make cars with wing mirrors these days,i stand to be corrected.Sounds to me like it was a 4x4 though,these
can have quite high door mirrors.
I don't think they make cars with wing mirrors these days,i stand to be corrected.Sounds to me like it was a 4x4 though,these can have quite high door mirrors. jon s
  • Score: 0

12:37am Sat 10 Apr 10

Steve6576 says...

micklin wrote:
was this cyclist wearing the proper safety equipment? ie; Helmet, flourescent clothing etc, were her lights working- if she had any and does she stop at red traffic lights or just carry on regardless. £300 grand seems a bit steep,i would knock a nought off at least, mind you she did work for HMRC!
OK lets get things right shall we, this is to the Argus and all of those that find it fit to comment on this young ladies tragic accident and the 3 years of pain that she has had to endure!!!
It WAS a VAN that she was hit by which means YES it is possible to get hit around the back of the head!! and Micklin what the hell has it got to do with you where she worked!! At least she had a decent job which by your comments you obviously either don't or spend most of your life tax dodging which means it's the rest of us that are paying for you!!
She's a lovely person that has had her life ruined by an accident that has taken away her freedom and confined her to a life of relying on support from other people. I expect that every day you get up, do what you want to do, drive where you want, play with your kids, remember what you did 10 min ago, hear clearly, she CAN'T do this anymore all due to an accident that happened in a split second. It doesn't matter how much money she gets it will never give her her life back!!!
[quote][p][bold]micklin[/bold] wrote: was this cyclist wearing the proper safety equipment? ie; Helmet, flourescent clothing etc, were her lights working- if she had any and does she stop at red traffic lights or just carry on regardless. £300 grand seems a bit steep,i would knock a nought off at least, mind you she did work for HMRC![/p][/quote]OK lets get things right shall we, this is to the Argus and all of those that find it fit to comment on this young ladies tragic accident and the 3 years of pain that she has had to endure!!! It WAS a VAN that she was hit by which means YES it is possible to get hit around the back of the head!! and Micklin what the hell has it got to do with you where she worked!! At least she had a decent job which by your comments you obviously either don't or spend most of your life tax dodging which means it's the rest of us that are paying for you!! She's a lovely person that has had her life ruined by an accident that has taken away her freedom and confined her to a life of relying on support from other people. I expect that every day you get up, do what you want to do, drive where you want, play with your kids, remember what you did 10 min ago, hear clearly, she CAN'T do this anymore all due to an accident that happened in a split second. It doesn't matter how much money she gets it will never give her her life back!!! Steve6576
  • Score: 0

10:46am Sat 10 Apr 10

blobby2 says...

How can someone feel they have the right to comment on how much money a person recieves when they have a horrific accident,can you imagine having to tell your children that you can't run with them or take them to the beach to go exploring, its heartbreaking and no amount of money can ever make up for that.
You dont seem to realise that this is written about an actual person who will read your flippant remarks, I am sure that if this sort of thing happened to a family member or friend of yours you wouldnt be on here making such comments.
How can someone feel they have the right to comment on how much money a person recieves when they have a horrific accident,can you imagine having to tell your children that you can't run with them or take them to the beach to go exploring, its heartbreaking and no amount of money can ever make up for that. You dont seem to realise that this is written about an actual person who will read your flippant remarks, I am sure that if this sort of thing happened to a family member or friend of yours you wouldnt be on here making such comments. blobby2
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Sat 10 Apr 10

ldmercury says...

micklin wrote:
was this cyclist wearing the proper safety equipment? ie; Helmet, flourescent clothing etc, were her lights working- if she had any and does she stop at red traffic lights or just carry on regardless. £300 grand seems a bit steep,i would knock a nought off at least, mind you she did work for HMRC!
I fail to see what relevance a person's employment has upon the level of compassion they should receive following an horrific accident. Perhaps also, it would be prudent to familiarise yourself with the article...paying particular attention to the part that states the driver was convicted and his employers have accepted liability. It may just be me...but does that not point to the fact that he was to blame?! A little more empathy and consideration please.
[quote][p][bold]micklin[/bold] wrote: was this cyclist wearing the proper safety equipment? ie; Helmet, flourescent clothing etc, were her lights working- if she had any and does she stop at red traffic lights or just carry on regardless. £300 grand seems a bit steep,i would knock a nought off at least, mind you she did work for HMRC![/p][/quote]I fail to see what relevance a person's employment has upon the level of compassion they should receive following an horrific accident. Perhaps also, it would be prudent to familiarise yourself with the article...paying particular attention to the part that states the driver was convicted and his employers have accepted liability. It may just be me...but does that not point to the fact that he was to blame?! A little more empathy and consideration please. ldmercury
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Sat 10 Apr 10

Charlie Bronson says...

Micklin,

You are obviously one of the lower forms of life existing on this planet, which unfortunately the rest of us have to endure.

Normally I would not respond to someone whom has an obvious low intellectual level. However, I feel the need to correspond.

What kind of imbecile makes these kinds of arrogant, unfounded, malicious and hurtful comments. This only emphasises the fact that the World really is full of very nasty people.

If you're ever unfortunate enough to be in a terrible situation such as this; maybe Karma will prevail and an equally malicious, ignoramus will make such comments about you.

Maybe then, and only then, you will see yourself in the mirror and realise what a poor excuse for a life form you are.

Mr Bronson
Micklin, You are obviously one of the lower forms of life existing on this planet, which unfortunately the rest of us have to endure. Normally I would not respond to someone whom has an obvious low intellectual level. However, I feel the need to correspond. What kind of imbecile makes these kinds of arrogant, unfounded, malicious and hurtful comments. This only emphasises the fact that the World really is full of very nasty people. If you're ever unfortunate enough to be in a terrible situation such as this; maybe Karma will prevail and an equally malicious, ignoramus will make such comments about you. Maybe then, and only then, you will see yourself in the mirror and realise what a poor excuse for a life form you are. Mr Bronson Charlie Bronson
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree