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Road Traffic Accident

Motorcyclist receives £500K after a collision resulted in a series of injuries

Written by Caroline Morris, Director | Serious Injury Law

PhoneLinkedInLegal

June 2, 2023

The incident

The claimant, aged 25 at the time of the accident, was travelling to work on his motorcycle when the defendant, who was travelling in the opposite direction, turned right across his path causing a collision.  

 

Injuries sustained

As a result of the accident, the claimant sustained serious life changing injuries as follows:  

  • Skin torn from right thigh, muscle and connective tissue  .  
  • Fracture to the neck  
  • Fractured lower left arm
  • Psychological symptoms.  

Expert evidence confirmed that the claimant had suffered:

  • A loss of blood flow to their bone tissue of the lower leg
  • Some leg muscle surgically removed
  • Everted foot
  • Partial right foot drop and loss of movement at the right ankle
  • His right calf swells up after walking and during the day when he stands due to lymphoedema
  • Weakness of the right knee 

Due to these injuries he will be required to wear orthotics for the rest of his life and will be restricted to driving an automatic vehicle.

 

The impact

The claimant lived with his partner and their first child, their second was born 5 months post-accident and it was understandably a very difficult time for the family. He was still recovering from his injuries and was unable to support his partner and children as he would have done had the accident not occurred.  They were living in a ground floor local authority flat. The council converted the bathroom to a wet room.  

At the time of the accident, he worked as a Sales Assistant for One Stop Shop.  He was unable to return to work due to his reduced tolerance for standing and walking as well as his inability to tolerate the working day and transport to and from work.  He completed a number of courses via the job centre during the lifetime of the claim but at the time of the JSM he had not been able to obtain a new role. 

 

The case

Liability remained firmly in dispute throughout the matter. The defendant alleged that the headlight on the claimant’s vehicle was either not illuminated or that it was, but it was extremely difficult to see, and reference was made to the mesh covering that the claimant had fitted and a non-standard dip beam bulb.  

The claimant advised that his headlights came on automatically with the ignition and were therefore on and visible at the time of the accident.  The headlight was covered with a mesh and did contain a non-standard dip beam bulb but that did not affect visibility.   

The road was dark but well-lit with streetlamps, a parade of local shops also offered additional lighting and there was both multiple CCTV and dashcam footage from a witness available.    

Accident Reconstruction and CCTV experts were instructed by both sides. The party’s experts were in agreement that the claimant was travelling slightly above the speed limit prior to the collision, that the defendant was indicating on approach and had slowed to a crawl but did not become stationary prior to beginning his right turn.   

Ahead of the JSM the main issue remained whether the claimant’s headlight had been on at the time of the collision. The defendant’s experts highlighted 2 police images where the headlight did not appear to be on at all and stated that where the light appeared to be lit on CCTV was in fact a reflection of other light sources.   

There were life expectancy issues within the case, with the defendant’s expert arguing for an almost 20-year reduction due to obesity and smoking.   

 

The JSM  

The matter was settled for a sum of £500,000.00 net of liability, CRU (£67,139.49) and interim payments (£20,000.00).   

Liability was not formally agreed but it was considered that the most likely reduction was in the region of 30%.    

 

Post settlement  

The claimant has since secured employment at a Currency Exchange shop where he is able to sit for the majority of the day and move around when required.  He has recently returned from a family holiday in Spain and is also in the process of purchasing a 3-bedroom property for his family.  

He has described how after the case was settled, he felt that everything relaxed around him and things such as employment and finding the property for his family all just fell into place.