Motorcyclist receives £3.35m in damages following collision

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Motorcyclist receives £3.35m in damages following collision

10th May 2011

A motorcyclist who sustained serious head and spinal injuries when he was hit by a lorry has received £3.35m in compensation in an out of court settlement.

The man, who is in his 30s, also suffered a catalogue of other injuries including substantial damage to the chest and shoulders, internal bleeding and significant injuries to his legs when he was hit by an almost fully laden four-axle truck in a tunnel in the middle of the day.

Mark Thomson, Head of the Serious and Catastrophic Injury Department at Fentons Solicitors, said that his client had been left with a number of physical difficulties as a result of the incident.

"This man was riding his motorcycle through heavy traffic, when the defendant moved his lorry from one lane to another without any regard for his safety," said Mark, a partner with the firm. "The impact knocked my client from his bike and he sustained a number of very serious injuries which required him to remain in hospital for almost a year."

Mark, who was assisted on the case by solicitors Shebby Bakar and Karen Garcia, said that his client stopped breathing after the collision, and emergency medics feared for his life as he recorded such a low score on the rating used to determine the level of a patient's consciousness and awareness.

"He underwent a number of operations after suffering a de-gloving injury to his legs - whereby the skin is literally torn away - and sustained serious head and spinal injuries which have affected his mobility," said Mark. "My client has been through hell and back, facing numerous surgical procedures and treatments and requiring continuous rehabilitation.

"The defendant alleged that my client was partly responsible for the collision because he undertook along the truck's nearside," said Mark. "However, the manoeuvre was carried out whilst they were in heavy city traffic, travelling at a relatively modest speed. We secured CCTV footage which showed that the undertaking was very gradual and that our client had been travelling alongside the truck driver's cab for several seconds before the collision occurred. In light of that evidence, we pursued 100% liability against the defendant."

Mark, who arranged for his client to receive four weeks of privately funded residential rehabilitation, said he now spends most of his time in a wheelchair as his walking pace is slow and unsteady. "When outdoors he always uses a wheelchair or an electric scooter," he said. "He is able to stand from a sitting position unaided and he is able to transfer from his wheelchair independently, and can manage to dress himself and attend to personal hygiene.

"Although he can make himself a drink in the kitchen, he has to steady himself by holding onto the worktop with one hand, which means his ability to cook is limited."

Mark said his client is able to drive an adapted automatic vehicle, using hand controls.

An initial offer of £1.75m was rejected when Mark advised the client he believed it signficantly undervalued his claim. Just over two years from initially taking the case on, a £3.35m settlement was negotiated between Mark and the defendant which takes into account the pain and suffering caused to the motorcyclist, the past and future earnings he lost as a result of his injuries, and the professional care and assistance he will require in the future.

"No amount of money can make up for the ordeal that my client has been through, and continues to experience each day," said Mark. "However, this settlement will ensure my client is fully compensated for his loss of earnings for life, and enable him to purchase an adapted single-storey home to suit his needs using the latest technology to assist him," he said.

"It will also allow him to purchase the latest in aids and equipment, and help him to obtain an adapted vehicle which he is able to drive fully independently. The settlement will also provide him with a team of support workers to enable him to live as independently as possible - allowing him to spend quality time with his family and friends."

The settlement was approved at the Royal Courts of Justice on 20 April 2011.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of serious head injuries and spinal injuries.

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.