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Title: £466,000 filtering accident - Mr JN -v- Smith

Amount: £466,000



£466,000 filtering accident settlement
On 31st July 2007 the Claimant was riding his Honda 750cc motorbike along
Kings Road in Brighton. He was in the offside of two lanes and his headlights
were on. There were other vehicles in the same lane which were, at the
relevant time, either stationary or moving very slowly. The Claimant was
able to pass them whilst remaining within the lane.
On the right hand side of Kings Road there was a turning into a minor road
called Weston Street. As the Claimant approached that point in Kings Road a
Mini motorcar being driven by the Defendant suddenly turned, without any
indication, in order to cross to Weston Street.   The Claimant was in the
process of passing the Defendant’s car at the time of the manoeuvre and had
no chance of avoiding the collision which then took place.
The Claimant alleged negligence on the part of the Defendant in failing to look
in any of his mirrors or to look over his shoulder before turning; failing to
give any indication of his intention to turn right and failing to notice the
presence of the Claimant’s motorbike on the road.
The Claimant was thrown from his motorbike and was immediately conscious
of severe pain in his left leg. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and a clinical
diagnosis of a fracture of the medial malleolus with a possible diastasis with
proximal fibular fracture was made. In addition to the bony injury the Claimant
suffered a very extensive soft tissue injury to the ankle and was admitted to hospital.
The Claimant’s prognosis remained poor. His ankle remained painful and weight
bearing for more than 45 minutes caused swelling. The Claimant’s balance was poor
and he could not walk on any surface which was not flat. His pain and disability were
such that he could no longer work as a specialist photographer in adventure sports
and sailing. He was also unable to undertake his former hobbies of skydiving,
snowboarding, skiing, hiking and paragliding and his pilot’s licence was suspended for
a while as a result of his injuries.
The Claimant’s insurers initially suggested that he instructed their panel firm and they
served a letter of claim in August 2007. The Claimant was not satisfied with the level of
service provided and so transferred his instructions to Andrew Campbell, being a
specialist in the field of motorcycle accident claims.
On 29th October 2007 the Defendant served statements and a locus report and
denied liability. In February 2008 the Defendant stated that liability was still denied. On
10th March 2008 the Claimant submitted a liability offer of 75/25% in his favour. 
The Defendant responded on 11th March by serving a copy of his engineer’s report and
indicating that he believed liability should be split with only 30% in the Claimant’s favour.
The Defendant was not prepared to make any further concessions or offers in relation
to liability and as a consequence the Claimant was compelled to issue court
proceedings. The proceedings were served on 3rd September 2008 and on 20th November
the Defendant made an offer of 50/50 in relation to liability. Negotiations continued with
the Defendant eventually agreeing to accept 60% in the Claimant’s favour on 16th December 
Following detailed discussions at a settlement meeting in November 2009 the claim settled
for £466,000 gross with a 40% deduction for contributory negligence, leaving the Claimant
with £280,000 for what at first seemed like only a moderately serious injury.


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