On the 7th September 2014, at around 6pm, Richard was travelling from his home address to his work at St John's Hospital on his Suzuki SV650 motorbike. Whilst proceeding in an easterly direction along West Main Street, a car suddenly pulled out from the Mill Road junction directly into Richard’s path. He was unable to take evasive action, collided with the car and was thrown from his motorbike onto the road.
An ambulance was called and he was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he was diagnosed with fractures to both sides of his pelvis, a fracture injury to his left wrist, and a nondisplaced avulsion fracture of his right shoulder. These were nasty injuries that would have an acute impact on his life for some time to come.
The third party insurers admitted liability at an early stage, namely January 2015. Unfortunately, admission of liability is only the first stage of the process, and the journey to settlement on Richard's behalf was a long one. When the first offer came in, it was swiftly rejected. It was obvious at this point that the insurers were going to be a difficult to work with. They appeared reluctant to acknowledge the severity of Richard's injuries and the impact the accident had had on his life.
The medical reports, prepared on instruction by Motorcycle Law Scotland and provided to the third party insurers, attested to the severity of Richard’s injuries, noting a risk of arthritis developing in his left wrist, as well as possible surgery for his right shoulder. The prognosis was not overly positive and for a young man under the age of 30, who reported being fit and well before the accident, to be left with these injuries after a collision caused by the fault of another was extremely frustrating. His job as a mental health nurse assistant, which involved restraining patients, had become hugely difficult given his injuries and it was concluded by the medical experts that he would be disadvantaged on the labour market in the future. In particular, it was no longer an option for him to train as a Registered Mental Health Nurse, something which had been a long term goal of his prior to the accident.
Things began to take an interesting course in September 2016, when the third party insurers revealed that they had surveilled Richard whilst he was on a day out with his family in Edinburgh. Surveillance of injured persons during a personal injury claim is not uncommon; the objective being to assess for themselves the injured person's complaints and the potential impact of those injuries on their day-to-day lives. The surveillance was sent to Motorcycle Law to review but it showed nothing more than Richard enjoying a day out with his family, walking around and sightseeing. These were not activities that he had claimed to struggle with; what he had claimed to struggle with was lifting heavy items and restraining patients at his work.
The uncooperativeness of the third party insurers continued as further negotiation took place, and by the time October 2016 came around, we saw little option but to raise court proceedings whilst at the same time remaining hopeful that settlement could be reached before going to court.
A new improved offer was received in February 2017 but it still did not match what we believed to be a fair and reasonable offer. We rejected the offer and pushed for a final settlement which we were able to achieve and Richard gladly accepted. The final settlement was 40% greater than the original offer.
Richard was very pleased with the amount and so were we, it being a far more accurate reflection of the pain and suffering he had gone through and the impact that the accident would continue to have on his life.