One of Britain’s leading compensation lawyers is taking legal action against the employers of crash test dummies, alleging that they knew there was a strong likelihood of a serious accident but did nothing to prevent it. It is claimed that the New Car Assessment Programme knowingly allowed the crash test dummies to drive along a pre-determined route at high speed despite clear evidence that there was a big brick wall at the end.
‘At first being selected for a job at such a prestigious organisation as NCAP gave me a real buzz,’ said ‘Neil’ the claimant. ‘When they produced the yellow and black stickers as part of the uniform I felt proud to belong to a national institution. I joked and said ‘hope you aren’t putting me into a radiation chamber’, but they just sort of smiled knowingly’. Neil claims that he was told that one of the major perks of the job was a brand new company car, which he was told would be changed regularly, indeed, as often as once a day.
‘Initially they gave me a top of the range VW Golf. So I felt terrible that on my very first day I had a serious accident. But there was no suggestion of having a couple of weeks off or some counselling.’ The following day Neil was presented with a Skoda Yeti, which he believes was some sort of punishment for an accident that wasn’t his fault. ‘But unfortunately the same thing happened again, which made my claims of blamelessness sound a bit hollow. I could hardly bring myself to look my line manager in the eye, especially since my head had come off and was wedged in the broken windscreen.’
Accident Claim Helpline deny accusations that they are fuelling the so called ‘compensation culture’ by encouraging a crash test dummy to take his employers to court. ‘It is clear that the risk assessment was not shared with the driver. We will pursue this case through the courts until the Health and Safety legislation is amended and every crash test dummy can get into a vehicle, safe in the knowledge that their journey will not involve an actual crash.’