High Court Will Now Assess Damages After Olympic Athlete’s Career Ruined By Injuries He Suffered
British Olympic sprinter James Ellington has marked a major milestone in accessing the specialist rehabilitation he requires following a crash after insurers admitted liability.
James was a passenger on a motorbike which was involved in collision with a car in Tenerife in January 2017. He suffered multiple broken bones in his legs as well as fractures to his eye socket, pelvis and ankle. James, who lost six pints of blood, was in intensive care and spent a total of four weeks in hospital.
His right leg now has a carbon fibre rod inserted and there are other screws and bolts in his legs.
Since the crash, James’s Great Britain sponsorships expired, leaving him without funding to continue his recovery and rehabilitation.
Lawyers helping James access treatment he requires
James, 36, instructed expert international injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his case and help him access the continued treatment he requires to overcome his injuries – which in effect ended his top flight athletics career - the best he can.
Days ahead of a High Court trial, the Spanish motor insurers of fellow British sprinter Nigel Levine, who was driving the motorbike at the time of the collision, admitted liability for James’s damages. Nigel himself has not admitted liability.
The High Court will now assess the level of settlement James will receive to compensate for his international career ending and to fund his ongoing rehabilitation.
Expert Opinion“The last few years have been incredibly tough for James. As well as trying to come to terms with the terrible and life-changing injuries he suffered, there has also been a long legal battle as to who would be liable to compensate him for his losses.
“James has already undergone a lot of rehabilitation and done everything possible to get back to his pre-collision best. Sadly this hasn’t been possible, no matter how hard he tries, because of his injuries.
“Following in-depth legal investigations we’re pleased that the motorbike’s insurers have admitted liability for James’s damages. This is a major boost in the case, allowing him to access the specialist rehabilitation he continues to require as well as clearing the way for him to be compensated for the lost years of his career.” Demetrius Danas - Partner
International serious injury: James Ellington's story
James, a 100 metre and 200 metre specialist, has represented Great Britain at the London and Rio Olympics in 2012 and 2016. He is also a two-time relay gold medallist with Great Britain at the 2014 and 2016 European Championships. He also competed in the 2021 British Athletics Championships.
James said: “I was at the peak of my career when the crash happened and was running faster than I ever had. However, life then changed in a split-second.
“It’s been an incredibly tough few years with a lot of ups and downs. While I’m lucky to be alive I’ve always been determined that the collision should not define me and have focused on getting back out on the track. However, if it wasn’t for the collision I’m confident I would have kept on performing at the highest level and would have continued to represent my country at major championships.
“While I’m pleased to be out there competing again, and I’m giving it my absolute best, I know I’m not at the level that I want to be at or would have expected to reach if it wasn’t for my injuries.
“I’m thankful that the admission means I can continue to look to the future and know that funding will be in place to help my continued recovery. I’m a realist but feel I still have a lot to offer athletics and am already looking ahead to the next few months and how I can give something back to the sport which has been my life.
“While I’m planning on racing again this summer I’m going to focus on one race at a time and see where that takes me.”
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