Substantial compensation recovered for seriously injured e-bike rider

Navdip Gill | Jul 2022

If you are hit by a vehicle while riding a bike, then it is likely that your injuries will be severe. Indeed, according to NHS data, nearly 40 per cent of cyclists involved in a road traffic accident will sustain some sort of significant head injury, closely followed by critical injuries to the arms and legs, or serious trauma to the chest and abdomen.

The consequences of such injuries can be devastating and far-reaching. You are likely to need ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation, you may need to take long periods of time off work or to give up work altogether. If you have been left disabled, you may also need to make modifications to your home or even to move to new accommodation better suited to your needs.

The physical, emotional and financial toll that this can take on you and your family is huge; and as a result, as Navdip Gill, head of our Personal Injury team, explains ‘You will need a lot of support and guidance, not just initially in the weeks and months following the accident, but also in the longer term as the reality of what has happened begins to sink in and you start to adjust to the impact your injuries will have on your life and that of your loved ones going forward.’

£300,000 compensation for injuries to the rider of an e-bike

Our personal injury team specialise in cycling accidents and regularly deal with cases involving a traumatic brain injury claim, or chest, abdomen and lower and upper limb injuries.

One recent case, in which we were successful in recovering just under £300,000, involved a cyclist who was riding an electric bike on his way to work.  He was hit by a car which, without warning, had turned into his path and struck him on the right-hand side of his body, throwing him across the bonnet and onto the road where he was knocked unconscious.

Among the many injuries sustained, the cyclist suffered a bleed on the brain, severe fractures to his right thigh bone and hip, a fracture to his left shinbone, a fracture to his right wrist, a crack in one of the vertebrae in his spine and significant cuts, bruises, and grazes.

He spent 10 weeks in hospital and required multiple operations, ongoing physiotherapy, and specialist counselling to deal with clinically diagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

As a result of his injuries, he is at risk of developing premature osteoarthritis, which may necessitate him having a full knee replacement and, because of the loss of strength in his wrist, he is limited in terms of the jobs that he can do going forward.

Post-accident support

As with all accident claims, our first priority when the client came to see us was to ensure that he had access to everything he needed to aid his recovery and to be able to cope when he returned home. With this in mind, we arranged for him to be supported by a dedicated case manager and support worker who, between them:

  • arranged for him to receive domestic help around the house and support doing his shopping;
  • managed his hospital appointments and booked in any further treatment he required; and
  • organised for him to move from his second-floor flat to a bungalow, which he found easier.

Given that he was unable to work, and needed to pay prescription charges and travel costs to his various medical appointments, we also ensured that he applied for all the benefits he was entitled to.  Because the insurer of the driver who hit him admitted responsibility for the accident at an early stage, we were also able to secure him an up-front payment of £5,000 to help him financially while we waited for his claim to be settled.

Once this had been done, we then turned our attention to assessing how much compensation he was entitled to receive. This needed to take account of his pain and suffering, as well as the ongoing difficulties he would experience as a result of the injuries. There is the possibility that he might need further treatment and the cost of obtaining this privately if needed. We also looked at his current and future loss of earnings, and the support he would require, initially from his parents and then, as they got older, from professional providers.

Our legal expertise in injury claims

As is often the case with the complex and high-value claims that we are asked to assist with, there were a few complicating features which needed to be addressed in order to enable the client to recover the full amount of compensation that he deserved.

The first is the fact that, at the time of the accident, the client was not wearing a helmet; and the second is that he was dressed in dark clothing.

The insurers argued that the lack of a helmet made the chances of a head-injury more likely, and that our client’s clothing choice had made it difficult for him to be seen as they alleged that the accident occurred early in the morning before the sun had risen.

In response to the first issue, we pointed out that there is currently no legal requirement for a helmet to be worn, and also to research which suggests that helmets are only effective in preventing or reducing the severity of injuries which are sustained in low-speed accidents and they have little or no effect in reducing severe head injuries.

As to the second point, we were able to disprove this by establishing that on the date in question sunrise happened an hour before the accident occurred.

Need more information with personal injury claims?

If you would like to find out more about our Personal Injury department, or are interested in making an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your own potential claim, then please get in touch with Navdip Gill on 01908 689338 or via email at ngill@geoffreyleaver.com.

However, do not delay, as you normally only have three years in which to bring a claim and it can take a number of months to compile the evidence and medical reports that are required.

 

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