Grandfather Speaks Of Determination To Regain Independence After Serious Injury Lawyers Secure Access To Rehabilitation
A charity volunteer who suffered a fractured spine in a crash when delivering Covid-19 testing kits has revealed his battle to overcome his serious injuries.
Christopher Riggs suffered multiple fractures when his bike was hit by a car which turned across his path on the A20 Sidcup Road in Horn Park, south east London.
The 60-year-old was delivering lateral flow testing kits to a patient due to undergo surgery at Kings College Hospital as part of his role as a volunteer rider for Kent-based KEM (Kent Event Marshals). Chris is also a blood biker for the charity Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) in Kent and a member of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance restock team.
Serious injury lawyers help after rider suffers spinal fracture
Following the crash which happened on 15 June, Christopher of Northiam, East Sussex, instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help him access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies he requires.
The father-of-one, who has two grandchildren, Hari, four, and two-year-old Sennen, has now spoken for the first time about the impact his injuries have had on him and his family, including wife Carole, 61. Hari is undergoing treatment for leukaemia so his injuries have prevented him helping his daughter Sarah, 39.
Legal team secure access to rehab for Christopher
Christopher, who spent two weeks in hospital, is speaking out as part of Road Safety Week. It comes after his legal team secured an admission of liability from the driver’s insurers. His lawyers have secured funding to allow him to access rehabilitation.
Expert Opinion“Christopher is a great example of how many people gave up their time to face up to the challenges of Covid-19 and help others through the pandemic.
“The serious injuries he suffered through no fault of his own have had a real impact on not only his life but his wider family.
“While nothing can make up for the physical and emotional pain Christopher is going through we’re pleased to have been able to help him access the specialist rehabilitation he needs to overcome his injuries. Through our work in supporting people injured on the roads we often see how early access to treatment can make all the difference.
“However, Christopher’s story highlights the significant consequences people can be left to face because of the actions of others and why it’s vital all road users take care at all times." Natasha Fairs - Senior Associate Solicitor
Serious injury: Christopher Riggs' story
Christopher, who was a self-employed business consultant before the pandemic, volunteered for KEM around four-years-ago, supporting charities and hospice organisations in Kent and the South East. Following the outbreak of the pandemic the organisation also started delivering testing kits.
Christopher scored 100 per cent in his Institute of Advanced Motorists’ motorcycle test and obtained a F1rst. He also volunteered as a blood biker delivering vital blood supplies to hospitals within Kent.
He was heading towards The Dutch House café on A20 when a VW Passat turned right across the carriageway, into his path near the junction with Mottingham Lane.
Christopher was taken to hospital and underwent a number of operations. He also suffered a broken right arm, fractured left ankle, fractured pelvis and dislocated right shoulder.
Chris recalls collision in which he suffered serious injuries
He said: “As I was approaching the junction I saw the car waiting to turn so I came off the throttle and began to brake. As I did this the car suddenly pulled out across the dual carriageway. I didn’t want to go over the top of the car so I tried to turn out of the way but I had nowhere to go and was thrown from my bike.
“Although I spent two weeks in hospital and had a number of operations, going home wasn’t the end of it. Carers would visit to get me out of bed and dressed and I would be reliant on Carole for help for most of the day until carers came back at night to help me to bed.”
Motorcyclist's road safety warning
Christopher added: “Before the collision I was fit and healthy. I had ridden motorcycles for many years and was a responsible and careful rider. Not only was riding my hobby and passion, it allowed me the opportunity to give something back and help out in the community.
“However, that has all changed now. I’m now left both physically and mentally shaken and unsure if I’ll be able to ride my motorcycle again.
“It’s not just me who is affected. I’m incredibly grateful to my family for all their support. Hari and Sarah are going through a tough time and I feel that I’m unable to be there for them which is particularly upsetting. However, it also makes me more determined to try and make the best recovery I can.
“The last few months have been a challenge but starting my rehabilitation has provided me with a major boost. I just hope that by speaking out other realise the hurt and pain they can cause and take care on the roads.”
Police investigate the collision but decided not to take action against the driver.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and families following collisions at our dedicated serious injury section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.
Road Safety Week runs from 15-21 November and is organised by the charity Brake.