Truck driver ordered to pay €91,000 to biker he maimed

A medical expert appointed by the court had reported that the victim’s injuries were so extensive that he should be treated as if his leg had been amputated below the knee

The motorcyclist was crippled by a truck driver who ran a red light
The motorcyclist was crippled by a truck driver who ran a red light

A truck driver who crippled a motorcyclist in a horrific crash after running a red light has been ordered to pay over €91,000 in compensation to the injured man.

David Balzan was sued for damages by Adrian Galea over a traffic accident that occurred in Rue D’Argens, Gzira in 2012. Balzan had been driving a large truck carrying stone when he had ignored a red light at the junction with Sliema Road and collided with Galea’s motorcycle. Galea ended up trapped underneath the lorry and his motorcycle.

A number of passers-by had helped free the man, who found that his leg had been nearly torn off, below the knee. Although surgeons had been able to save his leg, after many painful surgeries, he had spent a year wearing an external fixator – a large metal frame – around his leg and remained unable to walk properly. Even after the fixator was removed, his gait was unsteady and he needed physiotherapy and more surgeries. The excruciating pain was constant.

The injuries had a negative impact on his life and his AFM career, where he was unable to progress through the ranks, remaining a lance bombardier due to his injury.

Galea had also missed out on the chance to be deployed overseas as well as a number of overtime and bonus opportunities, he said.

A medical expert appointed by the court had reported that the man’s injuries were so extensive that he should be treated as if his leg had been amputated below the knee. A permanent disability of 30% was certified.

Balzan had argued that his truck had been too heavy to achieve high speed and that the motorcyclist had clearly taken risks. He confirmed that he was the subject of criminal proceedings with regards to the accident.

The court, presided by Mr. Justice Lawrence Mintoff found for the injured man, declaring Balzan to have been solely responsible for the collision due to negligence and non-observance of driving regulations.

The judge said that the accident “could have been avoided had the defendant used the prudence expected of every driver” especially when he knew his truck was carrying a heavy load which required a greater level of attention to transport.

“The court is convinced that, despite the defendant’s claim, the plaintiff had pulled away from the lights only when he had been convinced that he had the right to and therefore did not contribute in any way to the accident.”

Damages were liquidated at €91,580.

Lawyer Jason Grima appeared for Galea.

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