On 27 January 2017, aged 23, my client was a motorbike rider proceeding ahead on a main road when a motorist made a right turn across his path into a side road. My client was thrown from his motorbike and suffered serious injuries, particularly to his left wrist, right knee and ribs.
My client’s left wrist injury was a complex multi-fragmentary distal radius fracture, treated with internal fixation and wiring on 1 February 2017 followed by a second surgery on 24 February 2017, this time for external fixation which remained in situ for 2 weeks until removal on 7 April 2017. A fourth surgery to remove the metalwork was undertaken on 4 June 2019. His wrist remains weak and is lacking in flexion which is likely to be permanent.
My client’s right knee injury involved an impaction fracture of the medial compartment, a full thickness rupture of the right collateral ligament, rupture of biceps femoris and popliteus and posterolateral corner injury. It was examined under anaesthetic on 1 February 2017 and treated in a hinged brace, locked to full extension initially. My client pursued physiotherapy and gym work but symptoms continued. On 31 October 2017 he came to surgery for a posterolateral corner repair by way of arthroscopy. The knee remains symptomatic but there is no indication for further surgery at this stage.
In addition my client suffered an anterior second rib fracture which was managed conservatively. Psychologically he was diagnosed with moderate post-traumatic stress disorder with agoraphobia for which psychotherapy sessions were recommended.
My client was a keen sportsman. Since the accident he has had less opportunity to pursue his hobbies of tennis, golf, running, swimming and martial arts. My client has found his social life more restricted since the accident. The scarring from his injuries and subsequent surgery impact on his self-esteem.
The motorist’s insurers admitted liability; the motorist had crossed my client’s path in making his turn. My client had right of way. The motorist was negligent in making the turn either without looking or at a time when it was unsafe to do so.
The claim took three years to finalise, which is not unusual in a case where serious injuries are sustained because it takes time for the prognosis to be determined. In that time I was able to secure interim payments of £85,000 from the insurers to ensure that my client was able to offset his lost earnings while unable to work and pay for his treatment in the private sector. The final wrist surgery and knee arthroscopy were both funded privately. In addition my client achieved a great deal of recovery with a combination of physiotherapy, acupuncture and counselling as well as gym work and personal training sessions which were all paid for through the claim.
In settling his claim my client recovered his loss of earnings and treatment costs in full as well as an award for the care and assistance provided to him, a sum for vehicle damage and replacement, damage to property and interest. His future losses included a claim for disadvantage on the open labour market to reflect that it will be harder for him to secure future work on account of his disability; a sum to allow for some assistance at home, with DIY and general home maintenance, and for paid care in his later years.
Sadly my client will not make a full recovery but his award has gone some way to compensating him, reimbursing his past expenses and allowing for his future losses arising from the injuries he sustained. The lump sum award represented a good outcome in what was a difficult case and has allowed my client to look forward to his future with a sense of optimism, something he did not think possible at the time of his accident.