Cannock man receives £250,000 compensation after motorcycle crash injury

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Cannock man receives £250,000 compensation after motorcycle crash injury

3rd February 2012

A young overhead linesman from Cannock who suffered a horrific knee injury when a car crashed into his motorcycle has received £250,000 in an out of court settlement.

Thomas Walker was thrown from his bike when the car pulled out of a side road into his path as he made his way home along the Chester Road near Eccleshall at around 6pm on Wednesday 29 August, 2007.

“I was riding home the same way I always did,” said Mr Walker, 30, of Stafford Road, Huntington. “I remember this car just pulled out in front of me - there was no way I could avoid him - and I went straight into the side of the car. I was thrown over my handlebars onto the road and knocked unconscious.

“The next thing I remember is when I came round I was lying in the road surrounded by paramedics,” he said. “I was really disorientated and all I could feel was the enormous pain in my knee.”

Mr Walker was taken to nearby Stafford General Hospital before receiving further treatment at Cannock Chase and Oswestry hospitals. He underwent surgery to repair his displaced and fractured knee, which involved inserting metal pins to hold the joint together. He was unable to return to his job as an overhead linesman for almost five months, as his work maintaining and repairing power lines is very physically demanding and involves climbing ladders and walking over uneven ground.

Mr. Walker reported the incident to his insurer and was referred to one of its panel of specialist solicitors to help him recover any lost earnings and compensation following his injury. “I just assumed that they would be the best people to deal with my claim as my insurers were happy to refer me to them,” he said.

But when they tried to convince him to settle the claim for what he thought seemed a relatively low amount, he contacted Gary Herbert, a serious injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP.

“Thomas was worried that the solicitors had failed to appreciate the extent of his injury and the effect it would have on his life,” said Mr Herbert, a partner with the firm. “He felt he was being encouraged to settle the case as quickly as possible, rather than having the impact of the injury taken into account.

“Thomas went through a horrific ordeal. He was in a lot of pain for a very long time, and still suffers to this day with the after-effects of his injury. When he was offered what he thought seemed a low amount to settle the case, he got in touch.

“We looked at Thomas’s case and it was immediately clear that the earlier offer was low by any reasonable standards,” said Mr Herbert. “Not only he had been unable to work for almost a half a year, but the injury has affected his everyday life. He cannot run more than 50 yards without suffering pain, and he is no longer able to play football, go mountain biking or ski, activities which he enjoyed before the incident. It’s had an impact on his work and social life, and none of this was being reflected in the amount of damages he was being urged to accept.”

Mr Herbert said that following lengthy negotiations the driver’s insurers increased their offer to a more appropriate £250,000, which was accepted.

“Thomas’s case highlights the importance of selecting your own solicitor,” said Mr Herbert. “People are under absolutely no obligation to accept the legal team referred by their insurance company. All motorists are entitled to obtain independent legal advice, and not simply rely upon an agent appointed by their insurer. As in Thomas’s case, sometimes the firm that is assigned is not the most capable or experienced, and it could prove costly to not seek specialist legal advice.

“We are pleased that we were able to help Thomas secure the right amount of compensation, and hope it will help him as he looks to the future and moves on with his life,” he said.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of serious injuries following road traffic collisions,including those involving motorcycles.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.