One of our specialist bike accident solicitors acted for a young rider who used his moped for getting to and from work in a busy city. He was relatively inexperienced, but sensible, had a clean licence and good quality riding kit. He rode within the speed limit (not least because his machine had a limiter), wore a reflective vest, and always used his headlight, even in daytime.
None of this, sadly, helped him when some fool of a driver sitting in a parked car, decided to open the door directly in front of his moped. The instinctive reaction, which was to brake and swerve, took him into the path of traffic on the other side of the road, where he hit an oncoming lorry and was seriously injured. The lorry driver could not have avoided him and had done nothing wrong.
Our client, as witness evidence showed, was riding entirely properly and could not have avoided the accident. He was riding a sensible distance from the line of parked vehicles, not too close, and was plainly there to be seen. The fault lay entirely with the driver of the car, who had simply not looked, either in his mirror or over his shoulder, before opening the door.
The consequences of this simple moment of inattention were catastrophic for our client. He was in hospital for several weeks, underwent three operations to plate, fix and screw things together, then many months of crutches, physiotherapy and pain. He lost his job, his rented flat, his girlfriend.
Although he recovered well, he was always going to be at risk in the job market, because he had continuing back pain and restrictions, so could not sit at his desk without taking breaks.
We secured a 5 figure settlement for him, which took account of his residual symptoms, and the risks of him losing his job and/or pay in the future because of them.