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Title: Can I claim if I am too scared to ride?

Date: 28 August 2014

Q.

I have a question that involves the cost of having to drive a car for the rest of my life whereas before my accident I used to use my bike to go everywhere, all year round. The background is that two years ago a bus side swiped me causing me to have multiple fractures and psychological damage. I was diagnosed with PTSD by a psychiatrist but the symptoms are now only minor.

Now that my injuries have healed I am too afraid to get back on my bike and I had to buy a car which I now use for all my journeys. This is costing me far more in terms of petrol, insurance, tax and of course I had to buy the car as well. I am only 32 years old so over my lifetime this is going to cost me a huge amount of money. What do you suggest I do?

Rick Glover, Penarth

A.

I assume that you have an ongoing personal injury claim against the bus company. If so I suggest you ask your solicitors to send you to a clinical psychologist. He/she will be able to determine whether or not you are suffering from a phobic anxiety disorder relating to the fear of returning to motorcycling. That expert will also be able to provide an opinion as to whether or not Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) would be of assistance.

If CBT is recommended then to comply with your duty to mitigate your loss (keep to a reasonable minimum) you should try the suggested treatment. If the expert feels CBT will not help or if you try it and it does not help then you should claim for the increased costs of having to run a car as opposed to a bike for the future. This can run to many thousands of pounds. If your claim has concluded and your solicitors did not take account of this element of the claim then you may wish to investigate a professional negligence claim against them for the lost chance of succeeding with this element of the claim and claim those damages from the firm. Sadly, many firms forget to claim this valid head of loss.

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