£187,000 Compensation for Fracture Injuries to Motorcyclist

In honour of client confidentiality, our client will be referred to as Mr C, and his story is documented in this case study.

Circumstances of the Motorcycle accident

Mr C, a male aged 40 at the time of the accident and 45 at the date of settlement, worked as a Service Integrity Supervisor for Royal Mail. He was riding his motorcycle along a main road at approximately 65mph when the defendant emerged from a side road into his path. Mr C was hit and thrown clear from his motorcycle, colliding with the defendant's vehicle and the road surface.

Injuries sustained in the collision

The emergency services attended the scene of the accident and Mr C was taken to hospital where he remained as an in-patient for one week. He sustained injuries to his right foot, ankle and right shoulder along with psychological injuries.

Mr C underwent surgery to his right foot where the area was debrided and his right great toe was stabilised with percutaneous K wires and placed in plaster for six weeks. He spent three and a half months on crutches and was unable to wear normal shoes for that time.

At the hospital Mr C was diagnosed with the following injuries to the foot as a result of the collision:

  • 'Smash' fracture of the right great toe extending into the joint
  • Fracture of the medical side of the navicular bone
  • Fracture of the proximal phalanx of the right little toe
  • Fracture of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads
  • Comminuted fracture of the anterior process of the OS calcis

The skin on Mr C's right foot became shiny and swollen and he was subsequently diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Degenerative changes were expected to lead to premature arthritis in the foot. There was a risk that he would require further surgery to fuse the inter-phalangeal joint of the right great toe and the calcaneo-cuboid of the right foot.

Due to suffering Complex Regional Pain Syndrome there was also a risk that further surgery could trigger a relapse of these symptoms.

The accident's effect on his work and day to day life

Mr C was compromised in relation to physical activity and sports. Before the accident he was very active, he was involved in running, cycling and walking. His employment required large amounts of time on his feet inspecting packages. On his return to work his duties were modified to allow him to spend more time seated.

An agreement was also reached with his employer that he could take time away from his duties as and when needed to manipulate his foot and ease any pain and stiffness which may come on. This was something he had to do daily, first on waking and periodically throughout the day.

Mr C further found it painful to drive because he needed to keep his foot in one position and was unable to manipulate it. He was only able to drive short distances and in fact had to drive to work whereas before the accident he would have walked or used a cycle. He was however unable to drive any significant distance.

Adaptations and further treatment

Mr C needed to wear supportive footwear such as walking boots in order to limit the pain he suffered from his foot. Mr C is a stoical individual who made every effort to return to his pre-accident activities, he accepted very limited help from his family and only took occasional pain relief, instead preferring to be aware of his limitations in order to manage his pain levels. He underwent an orthotics assessment and was recommended specialist orthotic inserts for his shoes which would further support his foot.

Mr C suffered ongoing problems with his right shoulder which was prone to subluxion. In September 2011 he underwent surgery to stabilise the joint and required a period of rehabilitation thereafter. His shoulder recovered fully following this surgery.

As a result of the accident Mr C developed post traumatic stress disorder and a specific phobia related to vehicle travel. He underwent two courses of cognitive behavioural therapy which successfully helped him to overcome these symptoms.

He was deemed to be at a disadvantage on the labour market as a result of the ongoing symptoms in his foot. Although he had worked for the Royal Mail for a number of years the company was undergoing an extensive period of change and re-structure including floatation on the stock market, therefore his role was at risk.

How the case was settled

Fault was admitted early and interim payments were made to Mr C for expenses. Medical evidence was obtained by both sides from orthopaedic consultants and pain experts. His legal team also obtained evidence from a psychiatrist and parties jointly instructed an orthotics expert.

Court proceedings were issued in the multi track at three years post-accident while parties continued to gather expert evidence.

There was a dispute between the parties as to the extent of Mr C's ongoing disability and the impact the accident had upon his earning capacity.

The matter was listed for a trial window commencing in January 2014, however in November 2013 parties attended a joint settlement meeting where an agreement was reached for out of court settlement of the case.

Our client accepted £187,746.32 in full and final settlement of his injury claim. There was no formal breakdown of the settlement but we estimate the following approximate breakdown:

Breakdown of Compensation Award

  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity - £40,000
  • Past Losses and interest - £15,000
  • Medication - £650
  • Pain Management Treatment - £15,000
  • Orthotics - £22,500
  • Fusion Surgery - £8,500
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - £1,280
  • Increased commuting expenses - £3,000
  • Loss of earnings and pension - £80,000

Do you need the help of our complex injury solicitors?

We've helped support many motorcycle accident victims and our experience ensures we can provide our clients with the specialist legal assistance they need. For further information, please visit our Motorcycle Accident page.

Alternatively, contact us online or call us free on 08000 93 00 94 if you want further information on making a claim following a fracture injury.

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