Right result for seriously injured biker

On 11th of June 2020, John was riding his 125cc motorcycle through Kirkcaldy on his way to do some shopping after leaving his work as a school janitor. 

John was riding in a north-easterly direction on Dysart Road when he heard emergency sirens behind. He pulled into the side of the road to allow an ambulance to pass. Once clear, he continued his journey behind vehicles in front that had also pulled in to let the ambulance pass and were now moving freely again.

A short distance away, a young driver travelling in the same direction had also pulled her vehicle over and had stopped to let the ambulance pass. She then remained stationary as the cars travelling in front of John went past her. It appeared to John that she had parked up. Following the cars in front, John moved to pass by the car, but as he drew level, the driver turned right to enter Ravenscraig Park. She didn’t see John and collided with his motorcycle sending him flying through the air.

Paramedics rushed to the accident scene and John was taken by emergency ambulance to the Victoria Hospital. On examination, he was diagnosed with multiple rib fractures and a left shoulder fracture. Those were the least of his worries as John soon developed kidney and heart problems. He was placed in an induced coma and his family feared for his life. John was gravely ill and his life hung in the balance.

John’s son got in touch with Motorcycle Law Scotland whilst his father was still in hospital and in a coma. He asked for help as the family didn’t know how they would manage to look after John and weren’t sure whether he would make a recovery or not. 

In every case of personal injury, there are two aspects. Firstly, there is liability or who is to blame for the incident. Secondly, there is Quantum and that is the value of the claim. It was clear from the offset that this case would be challenging on both fronts.

Working with John’s son, we set about intimating John’s claim without delay. Due to John’s extensive injuries, we asked the third-party insurer to adopt a collaborative approach and fund a rehabilitation package to assist with John’s recovery.

Disappointingly, the insurers denied liability saying that John had come down the road at speed and had overtaken their driver when she was positioned to turn right and was indicating to do so. They offered an interim payment of £5,000 but beyond that nothing to help with John’s recovery. Adding insult to injury, it was not long after this refusal to fund rehab that John lost his job on grounds of ill health meaning that as well as his physical injuries, he was also suffering financial hardship. He was back home from hospital but had to be cared for by his family.

With no rehab in place and liability disputed, we knew we would have to march towards a Court case and quickly. Due to John’s multiple injuries, we instructed and paid for a total of nine medical experts. The reports highlighted just how severely injured John was and how that would impact on his future life.

By now we were in Court and the third-party insurers tried to put us under pressure by offering compensation by way of a Tender. Refuse the Tender and that would have consequences in relation to expenses. We had already spent tens of thousands of pounds on medical reports. The defenders argued that with only 4 days allocated to the Court Hearing, the case would have to be discharged and an 8 or 12-day hearing allocated instead. We knew that this would mean a 12-month delay. We asked the Court to keep the 4-day slot, but allocate that hearing as to how the accident happened. It was agreed to move forward on that basis. We had saved the earlier Court date and were ready to fight on. 

Throughout, the third-party insurer said that their driver was not to blame and it was all John’s fault yet, as the date of the hearing got closer and closer, the Defenders began to make offers to John to settle his case without the need for a court hearing. To begin with, these offers were much too low, but as time progressed, John began to receive better offers until eventually, less than a month before the Court date, the right offer came through. We advised John to accept.

At Motorcycle Law Scotland, we are all too aware that injuries can have a lasting effect. Many of our clients don’t return to work and need help with daily tasks. Lives can be turned upside down in a split second. Whilst no amount of money compensates for an altered lifestyle, it can help prevent financial hardship which was a constant worry for John in the early stages. 

We had wanted to work with the insurer early doors to get the help that John needed rather than leave it to his wife and family to care for him as he recovered. However, the insurer refused and thought we would back down. We didn’t, we went straight to Court and provided John and his family with extensive funding to secure some of the best medical experts in the land to help argue his case. Faced with such a strong, well prepared, case, it was the insurer who eventually backed down and offered John a substantial sum in compensation. 

If we at Motorcycle Law consider the prospects of success to be at least 50%, we will fight a case all the way and, importantly, we will fund the case from start to finish. We will instruct the best independent medical experts and will work tirelessly on your behalf. 

John’s family had this to say 

“Thank you and all your team for the hard work you put in towards John’s case. Every doctor we met spoke very highly of you.”

We wish John and all the family all the best in the future.


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