Motorcyclist wins c£500k after severe leg injury caused by 4×4 driver
While the country lanes of England can be a joy to drive along, it can be a problem if you have an accident in an isolated spot and there are no witnesses to confirm who was at fault. Insurance companies are naturally reluctant to admit liability without clear proof, and even when fault has been proven they sometimes drag out the admission of liability. Sadly, this means that an accident victim is denied the earliest opportunity for rehabilitation, but it often costs the insurers more in the long run.
This was the situation for a motorcyclist who suffered a severe leg injury in an accident with a 4×4 vehicle in October 2019. After nearly four years of battling against the insurers, he recently received a settlement of nearly £500,000 in a case led by Sam Seaford, a Personal Injury solicitor and Partner at Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors in Milton Keynes.
Collision at an unusual junction
An experienced motorcyclist, often participating in track day events, the motorcyclist was wearing (stronger) racing boots on the day of the accident that happened at a T-junction which has a unique and peculiar design. He was riding his Yamaha XJ900 not far from his home and, knowing this junction well, always took extra care as he was aware of accidents at that spot in the past.
After passing a junction on his left, the 4×4 driver turned onto the same road and collided with the motorcycle crushing the rider’s left leg between the bike and the vehicle and knocking him over.
Permanent injuries and implications
After being rushed to hospital by an ambulance, our client underwent emergency surgery and was kept in hospital for 26 nights. His injuries include multiple fractures in his leg, ankle, and foot where skin had been ripped away. It was only thanks to his superior racing boots, that the medical team were able to save his leg, although it will be vulnerable to infection for the rest of his life.
The damage to his left leg is permanent and limits his movements and his ability to walk, drive and ride a motorbike.
It also affected his ability to work and the severity of the injuries forced his wife to stop her work as a carer to look after her husband for a year while he recuperated.
Arguably, he would have made a much quicker recovery if the insurers of the 4×4 had admitted liability at the outset, as this would have enabled this motorcyclist to receive professional medical rehabilitation support much sooner and would have aided his recovery.
Fighting for our client’s compensation
The peculiar layout of the junction turned out to be helpful, as Sam Seaford was able to show that the location of the accident proved that the motorbike had the right of way. However, the insurers of the 4×4 still refused to admit liability, and made a derisory initial offer of just £30,000 by way of compensation.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer, Sam Seaford has access to a comprehensive database of compensation awards, and he knew that this was less than a tenth of what would be appropriate for this severity of injury.
In addition to the seriousness of the physical injuries, our client was entitled to compensation for psychological trauma and long term mental-health impacts.
On top of this, compensation would be payable for his wife’s lost income during his rehabilitation, medical equipment, the purchase of an automatic car, an adapted motorbike, loss of earnings and pension contributions.
While it can be tempting to accept an offer from the other side’s insurers, partly to simply move on with life, our lawyers know when it is important to keep fighting for the right outcome.
The insurers of the 4×4 driver finally ran out of delaying tactics and admitted liability, and Sam Seaford negotiated a settlement that was nearly sixteen times the original offer.
The motorcyclist was so relieved that the long claim process was over and so grateful for Sam’s “hard work and great result”. He has purchased a new bike and managed to get back to enjoying riding again, with the help of a specialist motorcyclist coach, Mike Edwards, to enable him to be able ride safely on the race track and build back his confidence with motorbike riding.
To find out more about how our personal injury team may be able to help you claim compensation following an accident on a motorbike that was not your fault, please contact Sam Seaford on 01908 689375 or via email at email@example.com to arrange a free and no obligation initial consultation.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.