A 52 YEAR OLD chauffeur – who narrowly escaped death outside a top London hotel – is suing the haulage firm that employed the driver that hit him.
Anthony Vidal was about to get into his top-of-the-range Mercedes outside the five-star Bulgari Hotel in Kensington when he was clipped by a passing truck as he went to open the door.
Mr Vidal claims he was crushed by the lorry, “ground’ against the side of his car and then dragged along the road and left face down on the tarmac.
The chauffeur says he also suffered a number of serious injuries to his ribs, pelvis and chest in the incident, which occurred on November 20 last year.
The father-of-one has not driven since the accident and fears he may never do so again. He is now taking legal action against logistics firm Edward Rawlings (Hook) Limited for damages and loss of earnings.
Mr Vidal said: “I was one inch away from death, I am sure. It has changed my life completely. It was really horrible.”
The 52 year old chauffeur lives in Borehamwood with his wife Evangeline and his eight year old daughter and spent ten days in St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London.
He said: “My wife has had to give up work to look after me and my daughter was shaken up. The doctors have told me that I will have problems for the rest of my life.”
Bexley Magistrates’ Court found the lorry driver guilty of careless driving and fined him £440.
Mr Vidal has since instructed law firm Fieldfisher to pursue a civil claim for negligence against the haulage company and has received an interim payment from his insurance company to cover his household bills until the legal action has been settled.
Solicitor Jill Greenfield said:
Mr Vidal urgently needs physiotherapy to get him back onto his feet. We had to fight hard to get the interim payment, which has helped and we’ll work to get him the ongoing care he deserves.
A spokesman for Rawlings said: “The safety of those affected by our operations is of primary concern to us and we accept responsibility for the incident. As a result, Mr Vidal is receiving medical treatment for his injuries and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.”