Irn Butt motorcycle endurance challenge

On the 16th of June 2018, Chris was riding his KTM 1290 Super Adventure T north on the A9. He was participating in a sponsored Irn Butt motorcycle endurance challenge to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Chris had just passed through the hamlet of Lothbeg in the Highlands of Scotland when a car pulled out from an access road on his left. Chris hit both brakes but was unable to stop. He collided with the rear offside of the vehicle and was thrown from his motorcycle into the roadside verge.

Emergency Services attended and Chris was taken by air ambulance to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. He suffered an open fracture of his left femur, an open fracture of his right tibia and fibula, open bone fractures of his right forearm, a closed fracture of his left little finger and extensive soft tissue injuries. He was rushed into surgery and metalwork was applied to support his broken bones. Chris remained in Raigmore for ten days before being transferred south to the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.

Changing Solicitors

He instructed Motorcycle Law Scotland to guide him through the unknown

In the early stages of his recovery, Chris could not walk and it dawned on him that his life was going to be changed forever. Whilst still in the Northern General, Chris made the decision to get in touch with Motorcycle Law Scotland and we started work on his case straight away.

We visited Chris at home in Rotherham and in our conversations with Chris, he made it clear that riding motorcycles was a huge part of his life and that his goal would always be to return to motorcycling one day.

We intimated his claim to the driver’s insurers and initially engagement was positive. A Case Manager was appointed to assess need by way of rehabilitation. She put in place provision of private medical support to help Chris in his recovery. Interim payments were granted and used to alter his home so that he could shower and wash safely. Despite the help and support, nothing could be done to prevent Chris from losing his job on grounds of ill health. This was a huge blow as work gave Chris purpose. Fear set in about his future and financial stability.

Funding withdrawn & liability denied

Just at this point when Chris was concentrating so hard on his recovery, there was a change of Solicitor representing the insurer. Funding was withdrawn for rehabilitation almost over-night and liability for the collision denied.

With the gloves off and Chris left stranded, we raised an action in court to secure funding for continued rehabilitation. Chris’s recovery was protracted with so many setbacks. We had to discharge the first Court hearing as Chris had not recovered. A new date was granted but again a further set back arose as Chris’s left femur had failed to unite. We asked the Court if we could keep the hearing but limit it to how the accident happened only as we couldn’t place a value on the claim.

During this time, Chris got to work with his own rehabilitation plan. He bought a static bike and pedalled for his life and recovery. He altered his diet and transformed himself in a matter of months. This was a man determined to overcome adversary

We lined up, ready for battle. The defenders said their driver had looked to his right before pulling out onto the A9 and did not see a motorcyclist. Therefore, the conclusion had to be that Chris had come around the corner at speed and that it was his speed which had caused the collision. To counter that age old argument, we instructed a collision investigation expert to calculate speed based on any physical evidence at the scene. We spoke to the reporting Police Officer who told us that the driver was “playing Russian roulette” every time he exited his property onto the A9 and that an accident was inevitable. Sightlines to his right were limited.

Motorcycling Injuries

Offer accepted after a long, hard journey

The Court hearing was almost upon as and it appeared as though no offers would be forthcoming. With just a few weeks to go, the defenders started offering substantial sums of money in settlement. We guided Chris through each offer advising him to hold out until we secured an offer we could recommend and support.

Finally, it was over. Chris had been successful, but the journey had been a long and hard one. Remember, liability had been denied, rehabilitation had been withdrawn and Chris had lost his job. Financial pressure was enormous and the fear of what the future would hold was always a constant worry.

Some say, ‘all’s well that ends well’ and there is some truth in that, but this case ended well because of the determination of a man who loved and still loves motorcycling. Chris achieved his greatest goal at the start of April 2022 and, in his words, he is now “Back in the Game.”

A lovely man and a most deserving client. We wish Chris all the best and hope that he has many happy days riding alongside his partner, Tracy, on his new KTM super adventure motorcycle.

Our Award Winning Team

Brenda Mitchell - Senior Partner

Brenda Mitchell

Senior Partner

Brenda has been a Personal Injury Lawyer for over 35 years and for the last 20 years has specialised representing injured motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.



Jodi Gordon - Partner

Jodi Gordon

Partner

Jodi has predominantly represented cyclists involved in road traffic collisions and specialises in assisting those who have suffered very serious and complex injury.

Thomas Mitchell - Associate

Thomas Mitchell

Partner

Thomas represents clients who have been involved in road traffic incidents and he specialises in representing vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

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