Case study: £385,000 for motorcyclist’s crush injuries after collision with van
Our expert Personal Injury team supported a motorcyclist to claim compensation for crush injuries he sustained after a collision with a van.
Mr N was riding his motorcycle and had the right of way. A van in front of him indicated to turn left but, after starting to turn, swerved quickly to the right to do a U-turn, which was prohibited on the road. The van collided with Mr N’s motorcycle, trapping his foot between the two vehicles.
The van driver, the Defendant, was convicted of driving without due care and attention.
Injuries sustained and treatment required
As a result of the accident, Mr N suffered a crush injury to his left foot, which included several fractures and required surgery to insert plates, wires and screws. He required a below-the-knee cast for 8 weeks.
Unfortunately, the wound on Mr N’s foot broke down, which required urgent debridement and a skin graft at a plastic surgery clinic.
He underwent physiotherapy through the NHS and then continued privately, but he experienced increasing levels of pain in his foot. This meant that Mr N required further surgery to make his foot more comfortable.
Claim for personal injury pursued
Mr N instructed us to help him claim compensation for personal injury as a result of his motorcycle accident.
We arranged an initial needs assessment to identify Mr N’s treatment requirements and promote early recovery.
We obtained witness statements from Mr N, his friends and family, who provided care and assistance for him, in addition to employment and medical records.
The Defendant admitted full liability after receipt of the Police Accident Report, and an interim damages payment was obtained to assist Mr N financially whilst the full value of his claim was being assessed.
To ensure that Mr N’s state benefit payments were not reduced due to the compensation taking him over the capital eligibility limits, we assisted him in setting up a Personal Injury Trust.
Medical reports obtained
Our Personal Injury team obtained medical reports from a range of specialists to determine the full extent of Mr N’s injuries as a result of the accident, as follows:
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon: the injuries to his left foot would have a life-long impact on Mr N’s ability to run and undertake any significant sporting activity. He would be restricted to sedentary work and, although further improvement was likely, Mr N would require orthotics long term.
Plastic Surgeon: Mr N had scarring from the skin flaps and grafts, many of which will remain permanent.
Psychologist: he experienced frustration, depression, and feelings of isolation, but continued to make good progress and had returned to riding his motorcycle. The Psychologist was confident that the remaining anxiety should gradually recover with a course of anxiety management.
Orthotics expert: it was recommended that Mr N had ‘made to measure’ motorcycle boots with contact insoles, and ‘made to measure’ formal and casual shoes. The cost of these and any subsequent replacements were included in his claim.
We were also advised by the National Association of Bikers with Disability on the nature and cost of adaptions to Mr N’s bike, and suggestions to assist with maintenance and service of his motorcycle, in light of his injuries.
To calculate Mr N’s potential earnings, we obtained evidence in relation to his intended career path working with motorcycles.
Mr N received a time-limited offer from the Defendant of £130,000, which we recommended he reject.
We then prepared a schedule of loss to include:
- Loss of earnings
- Care and assistance
- Travel expenses
- Medical expenses
- The additional cost of automatic driving lessons, which were more expensive than manual
- Future loss of earnings
- Future treatment
- The cost of the recommended orthotics
- The loss of intended career path, as Mr N would not be able to return to his work with motorcycles
- The disadvantages of the open labour market
As further exploratory surgery was required, an additional interim payment was obtained to assist Mr N financially. His recovery from the surgery went well and he started an apprenticeship as a Lab Technician.
We then sought the advice of Counsel, received an updated report from an Orthopaedic expert, and disclosed the medical evidence to date to the Defendant.
After we disclosed the medical evidence, the Defendant made a further offer of £180,000, which was rejected.
The schedule of loss was finalised and, given the minor future risk of amputation, a claim for provisional damages was made. This meant that, if the claim was settled and Mr N required amputation, then he would be able to return to the Court for reassessment of the claim.
We supported Mr N in the negotiation of a settlement, and he received a total of £385,000 (RPI) compensation in full and final settlement of the claim.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, our specialist motorcycle accident solicitors may be able to help.