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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 06:33 GMT 07:33 UK
Family seek NZ crash compensation
Jenny and Tony Legge
Jenny and Tony Legge were both seriously injured in the crash.
A family from south Wales is fighting for more compensation after being involved in a car crash with a drink-driver in New Zealand.

Tony and Jenny Legge, from Cardiff, were seriously injured when their motor home was hit by a truck travelling on the wrong side of the road.

The truck driver, who was more than three times over the legal alcohol limit, died in the crash.

Mr Legge said the 4,200 offered by the New Zealand government was not enough.

The family had just started their holiday, in July 2002, when the accident happened.

Mrs Legge, 60, had her pelvis shattered in five places, while 58-year-old Mr Legge broke his leg in two places and broke bones in both feet.

All we are asking for is adequate compensation
Tony Legge

They spent two months in hospital in New Zealand, then a further five weeks at the University Hospital of Wales, before being allowed home.

Police found that the truck driver's blood contained three-and-a-half times the legal limit of alcohol, and that he had been driving at more than 80mph.

Mr and Mrs Legge were able to claim some medical expenses from their travel insurance company, but found the compensation system in New Zealand was very different to the process they were familiar with in the UK.

Compensation claim

If the accident had happened in the UK, they could have sought compensation from the other driver's insurance company and, failing that, could have pursued the driver's estate for damages.

Instead, the Legges needed to apply to a New Zealand government body called the Accident Compensation Corporation.

They were offered a total of 4,200 for both their cases, but they feel they are entitled to more help.

If there are major issues, you expect to be given some information at some point
Tony Legge

"They've offered me the equivalent of 1,700, out of which I had to pay for a medical examination, which they needed to make the assessment in the first place," said Mr Legge.

"We have lost more than that in a month, every month of our lives since the accident.

"All we are asking for is adequate compensation."

Information

Mr Legge said he thought more information should be available about different country's laws and compensation systems to help people prepare before they travel.

"If there are major issues, you expect to be given some information at some point," he said.

"If you've got information and you don't take action on it, you take the consequences.

"You don't think you're going to be involved in a road accident with someone breaking the law.

"The best we can achieve is to inform other people who go to New Zealand that they may need to take adequate insurance."

Both cases are currently under review and are being examined by New Zealand's dispute resolution service.

You can see more on this on X-Ray, on BBC One Wales, on Monday, 3 October, at 1930 BST.


SEE ALSO:
60 for fatal taxi crash claim
05 Dec 04 |  North East Wales
Victory for air crash victims
25 Nov 03 |  Wales
Compensation culture 'urban myth'
28 May 04 |  UK Politics



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