Motorcycle Accident Case Studies

Want to get to know the kinds of cases we've been settling? Here are a few more recent case examples.

I acted for a male motorcyclist in his mid 40s, working as a nurse in the NHS. He was riding his motorcycle to work on a dual carriageway when a motor vehicle turned across his path coming from the opposite direction. Liability was fully contested, with it being alleged that our client was travelling at an excessive speed and the collision would have been entirely avoided if this had not been so. The Defendant was prosecuted by the police but the criminal prosecution did not succeed as the defendant was acquitted. Proceedings were issued and a liability settlement was subsequently negotiated 75/25 in favour of our client. The injuries sustained included an L1 and L2 fracture, necessitating a hospital inpatient stay lasting 3 months and surgery. Private treatment and intensive rehabilitation was organised at no cost to our client which greatly assisted his recovery. The clients employment and career progression was badly impacted as his back injury meant he was forced to leave his job and was forced to retrain to work in an administrative sedentary office type employment within the NHS. The medical evidence was in dispute with the Defendants orthopaedic surgeon contending the client had a pre existing medical condition in any event. Our orthopaedic surgeon’s opinion prevailed in negotiations, allowing damages to be negotiated at a joint settlement meeting just prior to trial. This resulted in a £350 000 settlement including £180 000 for the future loss of earnings element.
- Jan Canter
I acted for a motorcyclist in his late 30s who was a self employed plumber by occupation. He was riding his Yamaha motorcycle on a country road in the Cotswolds when he became involved in an accident with a car in a head-on collision. Liability was fully contested by the Defendant’s insurers (witness evidence supported the Defendant's contention that the client was travelling at excessive speed) and, just short of trial, a 50/50 liability settlement was reached. The injuries sustained included a tibial fracture to one leg and ligamentous damage to the knee, with the medical evidence suggesting the need for at least 2 knee replacement procedures in the future, according to our medical evidence. Medical evidence was in dispute and the Defendant’s insurers obtained their own knee orthopaedic report, which contested our own medical evidence. The-client required long periods off work on account of medical surgical procedures. Substantial interim payments were recovered for the client which were vitally needed to support his family in the 2 years preceding the settlement. A settlement reflective of a gross amount of £850 000 was achieved following a joint settlement meeting shortly before the date listed for the quantum trial.
- Jan Canter
I acted for a motorcyclist client in his mid 50s who sustained a spinal injury in an accident involving another motorist. Liability was not an issue. The client sustained an L1 disc prolapse and, subsequently after an interval of a few months(5), was diagnosed with cauda equina - a condition which affected his bowels, bladder function and sexual impotency. There was no loss of earnings as the client was not working at the time. Private treatment to control the bladder issues was arranged at no cost to the client. Medical evidence obtained from a spinal surgeon supported the diagnosis, but the evidence was disputed by the insurer’s spinal surgeon who argued the gap in time before symptoms surfaced. We arranged for the cauda equina spinal surgeon and a spinal urologist to provide medico legal evidence, leading to a 6-figure settlement being negotiated.
- Jan Canter
Soyab acted on behalf of a motorcyclist who suffered a serious fracture to the leg, requiring a corticotomy. The client was in an external fixator frame for some six months, undergoing several operations during this time. There was a substantial claim for loss of earnings and care with the Defendant engaged in covert video surveillance on several occasions. This was addressed and rebutted by carefully prepared witness statements going through the surveillance in detail. The matter proceeded to a Joint Settlement Meeting with the Defendant walking out on a final offer of £800,000.00. We negotiated a settlement several weeks later at just under £1,000,000.00
- Soyab Patel
Soyab acted on behalf of a motorcyclist who suffered a serious head injury when the driver of a car pulled out from a junction, colliding with the motorcyclist. The Defendant persistently argued that the motorcyclist was travelling at a higher speed which contributed to the accident and brought about injuries greater than what would have been sustained had our client been travelling at a speed appropriate for the road and weather conditions. Matters were compounded due to our client suffering a stroke one year post-accident. The Defendant argued the stroke reduced our client’s life expectancy and caused significant ongoing issues which would have affected the claim for loss of earnings and brought about a claim for care in any event. This was argued robustly on behalf of our client. A question mark regarding our client’s life expectancy became a real issue. The Defendant seeking to argue that it had been significantly reduced (accordingly reducing the value of the claim). Again, this was robustly resisted with our own evidence and, to remove it as an issue, a claim for periodical payments advanced so that the issue of life expectancy fell by the wayside. The matter was settled for just over half a million pounds with an annual payment for life of £55,000.00 increasing every year by an appropriate index link.
- Soyab Patel
Soyab acted on behalf of a pillion passenger who sustained serious fractures to the leg, pelvis and spine as well as a head injury following a road accident. Although the client made a reasonable recovery, it was unlikely that they would be able to work again as a self-employed decorator. Within 12 months of the accident, the Defendant made a significant offer to settle which was, in our view, premature given the outstanding medical evidence and prognosis. Nevertheless, we arranged a meeting with a senior Barrister (Queen’s Counsel) to go discuss the case in detail setting out what further evidence was needed as well as the advantages and disadvantages of compromising the claim as opposed to continuing. This allowed the client to make a fully informed decision, recognising the risks of a premature settlement but understanding that the value of the claim may or may not exceed the amount on offer. This was one of those rare occasions when a Defendant insurer was prepared to make a realistic offer to settle, recognising that it may be over valuing the claim.
- Soyab Patel