In August 2008 our client, Mr Taylor, was involved in a road traffic accident in France. He was in a line of 5-6 bikers who were driving towards St Brieuc to celebrate his birthday.
Mr Taylor was riding along a straight road in Brittany when two vehicles coming in the opposite direction cut across his path. One of his friends was in front of him in the line and managed to avoid the first vehicle and carried on. Our client avoided the first vehicle but was struck by the second vehicle which appeared to be following the first. The collision happened on the centre line that separates the carriageways.
Our client was knocked off his bike and ended up in a ditch around a hundred yards from where the collision took place. He remained there until the emergency services arrived.
Police took statements from some of the witnesses but the driver of the first vehicle had disappeared and nobody took his details. It was assumed that the drivers of the cars knew each other, but this was denied by the third party.
Despite the witness statements of the bikers, it was difficult to prove that another vehicle might have been implicated in the accident and liability remained in dispute. Negotiations were difficult but our client agreed on a shared liability of 80/20 in his favour.
Mr Taylor suffered a number of injuries, including a severe open fracture of the left upper tibia and knee, as well as major skin, muscle, tendon and ligament damage. He also suffered contusions on his upper and lower limbs and thorax and thoracic contusion with rib fracture.
He was taken to the local hospital where it was thought his left leg would need to be amputated. He had surgery on his left leg, with partial reconstruction of the tibia, screws and plates on the tibia and femur and reconstruction of the knee joint.
When he returned home to Jersey he was referred to a local surgeon and later to London for a total of 11 pieces of surgery.
Mr Taylor now has an unstable knee and is trying to rebuild his muscles to strengthen his leg. He will need a full knee replacement in the future.
The accident had a large impact on Mr Taylor’s employment. He was due to start a new job a few weeks after the accident, and although he did start the job, his lack of mobility meant he could not meet clients as often as he would have liked. This had such an impact on his employment that he had to find another position. Since the accident, our client has changed jobs four times.
His claim has been estimated at €420,000, including loss of earnings and his medical insurers claim. His motorbike accident claim has been estimated at €100,000.
The French legal system allows victims to re-open the case if they suffer aggravation of their condition, so it may be possible for Mr Taylor to claim further compensation at a later date.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a road traffic accident while on holiday or working abroad, our specialist holiday accidents & illness claims team could help you to secure the compensation you deserve. See our Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claims page for more information.
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