Abu Dhabi: Indian expats Purvi Patel, 32, and her husband Milan were walking along Salam Street around 9.30pm on August 16, 2014, having just finished dinner at the nearby Chappan Bhog restaurant when the unthinkable happened.
An out-of-control SUV hit Purvi, leaving her badly injured and changing the couple’s lives within seconds.
Six months and seven surgeries later, Purvi still can’t walk on her own. Her right leg remains in plaster and deep scars run on both thighs where skin patches were removed for grafting.
The consequences aren’t just physical. Mounting medical expenses have drained the family financially and their fight for compensation faces massive challenges.
“We are at our wit’s end as the erring driver or his lawyer have not turned up for a single court hearing,” said Purvi, fighting back tears.
The couple said they had to dig into their savings and borrow heavily from relatives to fight what could be a protracted legal battle.
“It is not easy. We paid a huge amount to our lawyer and now we need to deposit three per cent of the compensation amount we are seeking.
“But I won’t give up and will do whatever it takes to bring the driver to book,” said Milan, 36, who works for Adnoc.
Following the smash horror, Purvi remained hospitalised for 40 days at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City where she underwent various operations including bone alignment, skin grafting and plastic surgeries.
‘The impact of the crash sent me flying through the glass window of a shop. There was blood all over and I was completely covered with glass shards. My legs were crushed and the skin and muscle were flayed open to the bone in many places,” recalled Purvi who was preparing for her final year ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) exam, when the accident took place.
“Of course that has to wait. I don’t know when, if at all, I will be able to resume my studies. We had just moved into a new house in Reem Island and were planning to have a baby this year but all those plans have been ruined. “If I am at least able to stand today, it is because of my husband. But just because we are strong enough to tide through this difficult period it does not mean that we will let the person responsible for this walk away free,” she said.
YOUSPEAK: What should be done to speed up compensation claims?