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Woman Disabled After Crash With Drink Driver Wins £1.67 Million Payout After Being Accused Of Lying

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Woman Disabled After Crash With Drink Driver Wins £1.67 Million Payout After Being Accused Of Lying

A woman who suffered brain damage after a car crash involving a drunk driver has been awarded a payout of £1.67 million after being accused of lying about the extent of her injuries.

34-year-old media executive Natasha Palmer suffered a brain injury after a drunk driver crashed into the back of her car at high speed on the M25 in 2014.

Palmer was left disabled and unable to work after the incident but was accused of ‘fundamental dishonesty’ by the other driver’s insurance company.

Their claims centred around Palmer’s Instagram posts that seemed to show a ‘positive and exciting life’ after her injury.

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The reality is that she was left with sensitivity to light, poor memory and concentration, anxiety, severe migraines, and dizziness that she claimed made her ‘walk like she was drunk’.

Natasha Palmer. Credit: Champion News
Natasha Palmer. Credit: Champion News

The lawyers charged with fighting the case on behalf of Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company submitted ‘in excess of seven hundred pages of social media posts loaded by the claimant on her Instagram account’ to the High Court.

They said that her pictures showing skiing holidays and trips to India, as well as musical events and completing runs such as the 10km Bear Grylls obstacle run showed that she was not being truthful about the effects of her crash with Seferif Mantas, who was convicted of drink driving after the incident.

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However, the judge said that the social media posts ‘did not present a complete picture, as she would tend to put a positive gloss on how she was doing as she wished to obtain more likes’.

Awarding her £1,679,406 in damages, Judge Anthony Metzer QC said: "Social media tends to paint a glossy picture of the poster's life.”

Despite her claims for £2 million in damages, the insurance company said that her claim was worth just £5,407.

Charles Woodhouse, on behalf of the insurance company, claimed that Ms Palmer had participated ‘in much more significant physical exercise than she admits in her witness statements or to any of the medical experts.’

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Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company claimed that her Instagram posts showed that she wasn't as disabled as she claimed. Credit: Champion News
Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company claimed that her Instagram posts showed that she wasn't as disabled as she claimed. Credit: Champion News

He added: “Ms Palmer’s social media posts also show her attending musical and other events with large numbers of people and noise."

The judge ruled: "In determining how much reliance to place upon those social media posts, I consider it is necessary to express a level of caution [as] social media tends to paint a glossy picture of the poster's life.

“The claimant repeatedly denied that she had intended to mislead anyone.

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“In respect of the social media posts, which would include holiday photographs, she stated they did not present a complete picture as she would tend to put a positive gloss on how she was doing as she wished to obtain more 'likes'.

“She described her social media posts as a snapshot of what you want people to see, the positive and exciting side of your life, not the day-to-day difficulties.

“It appears to be uncontentious evidence that people, including the claimant, would tend to post positive and upbeat messages and images.

 “It was... important to the claimant's identity to be seen by friends or others as doing normal things,

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“She had always been competitive, had been a sports captain, had been in competitions and had skied.”

He concluded: "I found the claimant to be an honest, helpful, impressive and dignified witness in her own case... I consider that the substantial number of symptoms the claimant now has arose from the outset of the accident and were caused or substantially contributed by it.”

Featured Image Credit: Champion News

Topics: UK News, Instagram, Money, Crime

Tom Wood
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