Collision Locus and Circumstances
Jim is a young professional engineer and a very considered young man. He’s been around bikes since he was 16. On the 29th July 2017, Jim was riding his Yamaha R1M sports bike east on the A994 towards the Kingswells roundabout, Aberdeen.
There are three lanes on the roundabout. Jim was travelling in the middle lane with a Porsche to his left. As both driver and rider entered and followed the roundabout, the Porsche encroached into Jim’s lane forcing him to the right. Jim was unable to move out of the way quickly enough and his front wheel was clipped by the rear of the Porsche forcing him off his motorcycle.
Jim had significant soft tissue injuries but his brand-new motorcycle was also written off. He had planned a trip to Silverstone to take part in a rider coaching course but that had to be cancelled.
A motorcyclist will always come off worse in a tussle with a car on a roundabout, even at relatively low speed.
Jim sustained a number of injuries, including a head injury and soft tissue injuries to his left shoulder, left forearm, left leg and hip.
From the outset, the Porsche driver’s insurers denied liability altogether stating that it was in fact Jim who had strayed into the nearside lane and collided with the Porsche. The Porsche driver had a passenger in his vehicle who supported this position.
As motorcyclists ourselves, we know that it’s far more likely for a vehicle to cut through the inside line of a roundabout than veer towards to the nearside. We met with Jim in his home town of Aberdeen where he was able to describe in detail the sequence of events leading up to the incident. From meeting him face to face, we knew he would make an impressive witness at Court.
With liability denied and the Porsche driver and passenger blaming Jim, we raised an action in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court in Edinburgh. The defenders still argued that Jim was to blame for the incident saying that he had strayed from his lane. We instructed road collision investigation reports and prepared for a full court hearing. Our expert witness examined the physical evidence including the damage to Jim’s motorcycle and formed the opinion that it was more likely than not the crash happened in the way Jim had described.
Around 18 months post-accident and during the course of the litigation process, Jim started to notice some unusual numbing sensations in his face. We immediately instructed a specialist Consultant Neurologist who confirmed the symptoms were likely to have been caused by a vertebral arterial dissection and damage to a blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain. Our expert was able to confirm the dissection, on balance, was caused at the time of the collision. Thankfully for Jim, the Neurologist confirmed the symptoms would resolve and not cause any difficulties in the future. This new information was brought to the attention of the Court in our written case.
The case was then temporarily stopped to enable both sides to consider the implications of the new medical evidence and the defenders took the opportunity to negotiate a settlement. Jim was offered £35,000 which we were happy to recommend to him to accept.
The difference we make
At Motorcycle Law Scotland, we have specialist personal injury lawyers who are also keen motorcyclists. This specialist knowledge of motorcycling helps us when representing our clients. We are not panel solicitors and never ask our clients to fill out forms. We meet our clients face to face and will always go over the evidence meticulously, visiting the accident locus and instructing expert witnesses to help build a strong case. Even though this was a case of one motorcyclist’s word against two others, we were confident, having taken time to get to know our client, that his word would be accepted by the Court and so pressed on to get the best result.