In March 2016, retired Police Officer, Bob Crawley, was involved in a high-energy motorcycling collision that left him with severe and life-changing injuries.
On the day in question, Bob was travelling at the front of a group of five motorcyclists, all of whom were members of the Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists. Bob himself has a rich history of motorcycling, serving in the police motorcycle unit for a number of years and later setting up a business providing guided motorcycle tours around Scotland. Bob is a very accomplished, skilful, and proficient rider; indeed, one of his companions from the day of the accident described him as “the best motorcyclist I have ever ridden with, by a long way”.
The location of the collision was the A711. Approaching a left-hand bend ahead of him, Bob was riding just inside the white lines in the centre of the road. With a good view of the limiting point, he noticed another vehicle travelling towards him from the opposite direction. Witness statements confirm that the third-party driver, having lost control of his vehicle, suddenly swerved onto the opposite carriageway and directly into Bob’s path. He was unable to take evasive action and a head-on collision occurred. It is thought that both vehicles were travelling at around 60mph, and the impact was accordingly catastrophic; Bob was thrown onto the road surface at high speed.
The third-party driver was subsequently charged with a careless driving offence under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Paramedics promptly arrived at the scene and Bob was taken by ambulance to the Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary. It was here that the extent of his injuries was realised – he had sustained fractures to his wrists, pelvis, sternum, and ribs, and additionally, had suffered a traumatic laceration of the right femoral vein.
Bob was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, where he stayed for five days. In total, Bob was in hospital for a period of just over two months. Following his discharge and return home, he required extensive support and assistance from his wife Anne. His wrist injury caused him particular difficulty; he was unable to carry out basic tasks that required any level of strength from his wrist.
Bob’s house presented some difficulties for him in light of his injuries – for example, difficulty with using the stairs and with climbing in and out of the bath – but both he and Anne were adamant that they wanted to remain in their current home.
Motorcycle Law, therefore, requested a ‘Care and Needs’ Report to be carried out, which recommended handrails be installed throughout the house, especially on the staircase, and for a new shower room with a more easily accessible shower.
Bob will never return to his to his pre-accident condition. A medical expert who examined him noted that he will always suffer some level of permanent discomfort. His ability to undertake more physical domestic activities will also be compromised on a long-term basis. However, in saying that, the level of recovery that Bob has made is somewhat remarkable. Physiotherapy and dogged determination enabled him to increase his mobility and, having purchased a more suitable, more upright motorcycle, he has been able to return to riding.
This case was settled in August 2017. The first offer that was received was reasonable but did not quite match the figure that Motorcycle Law Scotland believed the case to be worth. The increased figure was achieved after further negotiation and Bob was happy with the result commenting:
“Hopefully you will never be in the position whereby you are involved in a road traffic collision and require the services of Motorcycle Law Scotland, but if circumstances dictate that you require legal representation, I cannot recommend Brenda Mitchell of MLS highly enough.
Brenda looked after my interests in a professional and efficient manner that was surely second to none. Any assistance from professional bodies that would assist in my home recovery was catered for; private physiotherapy, multiple appointments with private hospital consultants. Every box was ticked by Brenda.
Of course, physically and in other ways, I wish I was back in early March 2016, but given what occurred I am very lucky, not least by having my interests looked after by MLS.”