Case Study: Multiple Injuries After Motorcycle was hit by a Van

Mr G was awarded £130,000

JMW has secured a £130,000 settlement for a man after he was seriously injured during a motorcycle accident.

The accident

Mr G was involved in a serious motorcycle accident when a van pulled out from a side road into Mr G’s path.  Mr G was forced to perform an emergency stop and as a result was thrown from his motorcycle, sustaining fractures to his left wrist, right leg, left shoulder and clavicle, as well as an injury to his right hip.  He decided to make a claim with JMW Solicitors, where Jason Harwood, Partner, handled his case. 

The case

Immediately after the accident, Mr G underwent surgery to his right knee and left arm.  Jason wrote a letter of claim to the insurance company of the driver who collided with Mr G who would be the defendant in the case, to advise them of the claim.  Jason was then contacted by a law firm who had been instructed to deal with the claim on the defendant’s insurer’s behalf, who requested a telephone conference to discuss the case. 

Jason got the defendant’s solicitor to agree to getting Mr G an immediate needs assessment, to put an appropriate rehabilitation and treatment package in place for him.  They also agreed to provide Mr G with an interim payment, to ensure Mr G was not suffering too much financial difficulty, on provision of obtaining copies of Mr G’s medical records, which Mr G consented to. 

Gathering supporting evidence

Jason arranged to take witness statements from Mr G, his Mum, Dad and partner, to provide more information about how the accident had affected him, and detail the care he was receiving from his loved ones.  They expressed how Mr G had been affected by the accident and how he was reliant on others to assist him with every element of his day to day life, from personal hygiene to maintaining a home.  It also showed the issues Mr G would face when returning to work as a HGV driver and tyre fitter. 

Jason also obtained details of Mr G’s earnings before his accident, so that he could use this information alongside the witness statements and details of other financial losses Mr G had suffered, to create a schedule of loss document.  This document outlines the potential value of the claim and would assist Jason in reaching a settlement on Mr G’s behalf. 

Meanwhile, Jason also received the immediate needs assessment report from Mr G’s case manager, which highlighted an urgent need for him to have hand therapy.  Jason discussed the matter with the defendant’s solicitor, and requested funding to proceed with the recommendations it made. 

Five months after the accident, Mr G was assessed as being fit to return to work on lighter duties, dealing with holiday cover.  Mr G continued to receive support from the NHS, which included physiotherapy and counselling sessions.  He was officially discharged from NHS care two months later. 

Primary liability

The defendant’s solicitor informed us that they were prepared to admit primary liability for Mr G’s accident, however, they felt he partly contributed to his accident and therefore, should be entitled to a reduced compensation award, a legal principle known as contributory negligence.  In this instance, they felt that Mr G had been driving at excessive speed at the time of the accident and had applied his brakes excessively and uncontrollably.   We felt that if Mr G had been thought to be driving at excessive speed, then he may have faced criminal action, and thus far, nothing had been raised by the local police force.  Further, the implication that Mr G applied his brakes excessively felt bizarre considering the accident circumstances. 

Jason arranged for Mr G to be examined by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who would provide an independent report on his injuries and prognosis.  The report we received from our consultant was positive and supported Mr G’s claim, highlighting the appropriate timescales for Mr G’s injuries to heal and that although the fractures to his left clavicle and wrist had healed, Mr G would be left with some residual stiffness and loss of function.  It was expected that Mr G’s healing would plateau about a year after his accident, and he should be re-examined then.

Joint settlement meeting

Jason and Mr G agreed to a Joint Settlement Meeting with the defendant’s solicitor with a view to settling Mr G’s case.  Usually, we would not agree to a Settlement meeting this early, as it had been advised he should be re-examined by the medical expert.  However, it appeared that Mr G was making really good progress in his recovery and was keen to conclude the case.  Mr G understood that any settlement agreed would be final, and he confirmed he was happy with that.  Mr G also advised that despite being part time on his return to work, he had since been able to return on a full-time basis.  However, he had also been working part time in other roles prior to his accident, and was no longer able to continue this. 

Ahead of the Joint Settlement Meeting, Jason received some additional documents from the defendant’s solicitor.  The various documents offered contradictory arguments; a collision report supported Mr G, however a second report supported the defendant, suggesting Mr G had been over the speed limit, an assertion that was made following observation of poor quality CCTV footage that Jason did not think lent itself to making such observations.  We also received a copy of the defendant’s commissioned accident reconstruction report, which suggested that Mr G braked excessively.  Jason didn’t agree with this, given Mr G needed to act quickly on the run up to his accident. 

Final settlement

This information gave us an understanding of the issues that would have to be tackled at the Joint Settlement Meeting to ensure Mr G received a fair compensation award.  At the Joint Settlement Meeting, after some negotiation, Mr G was able to agree a final settlement figure of £130,000.  This was a marked increase on the defendant’s first offer and we felt this represented a fair settlement for Mr G.  Mr G kindly commented after the case: “Jason Harwood did an amazing job and I’ve recommended him to the motorbike community I belong to.”

Have you also suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident?

If you have then you could be entitled to compensation to aid your rehabilitation. To see if you have a claim, call our personal injury team on 0800 054 6570 or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you. 

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