In April 2016 my client was involved in a motorcycling accident when a car turned into him from a side road. Ordinarily liability would not be an issue but in this case, there happened to be another motorcyclist going the same way and in almost the same position. He avoided a collision. Liability was therefore contested on the basis that my client failed to have due regard for his own safety and had he done so, then he too would have avoided the accident.
My client, a young man with a baby daughter, worked as a vehicle technician for a family-owned garage. His job was long-standing and stable. Sadly, with a fractured collar bone he found his workload increase as he became slower due to his inability to lift. Changing tyres, lifting parts and handling tools became too difficult for him and he stopped working. He found himself unsuited to other roles in customer services and retail due to lack of qualifications and experience.
There was an added complication. As a teenager my client had fractured the same collar bone which was plated and repaired. Sadly, when he fractured it a second time in the accident the medical advice was that surgery would be too risky and that he would have to live with non-union. On this basis my client would not make a full recovery and would have to live with his symptoms; careful not to lift heavy objects moving forward.
I argued that primary liability would rest with the driver and that any deductions would be limited only to the extent that the insurers could prove that my client had been contributorily negligent. In time they produced a witness statement from a police officer which supported the driver’s case. Our barrister advised that my client’s share of the responsibility might be up to 50%.
After service of proceedings the insurers made an offer of £150,000 which was accepted by my client. The compensation agreed covered damages for the injury, lost earnings to date and ongoing. There was an uplift for the disadvantage my client now has on the open labour market and a sum was claimed for re-training. In addition, my client recovered his treatment expenses and a claim for care and assistance. Future assistance was also covered to allow him to have some domestic help with his daughter during her younger years.
This was a good outcome for my client who accepted that he would not be awarded 100% of the value of his case and whose award could have been reduced by as much as half by the court. He intends to use some of the money for vocational rehabilitation and hopes, in time, to secure a position in computer aided design where he can continue to make use of his experience as a mechanic.