Lawyers Urge Motorists To Be More Vigilant Of Cyclists To Prevent Further Accidents
By Suzanne Rutter
A cyclist who had to endure wearing a painful leg frame for six months followed by extensive physiotherapy after a serious car crash has joined forces with specialist lawyers to call for drivers to be more vigilant of other road users after he received a five-figure settlement to help get his life back on track.
Ben Robinson, of Nether Edge, Sheffield, was cycling to a barbecue on Sunday, 19 June 2011 when the driver of an Audi crossed his path and crashed into him as he travelled along Washington Road, at its junction with Cemetery Road.
He was thrown into the air and rolled across the bonnet of the car, suffering multiple leg fractures, a broken elbow and facial injuries. He was rushed to the Northern General Hospital for emergency surgery where doctors inserted four metal pins and a frame onto his right leg, which ran from just below his knee to his foot. He also had a plate fitted in his elbow which was then put in a plaster cast, his face was badly swollen and he had suffered two black eyes.
He instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who helped secure him a five-figure settlement from the driver’s insurance company to cover his pain and suffering, loss of earnings and to help him access the vital rehabilitation he needed.
Following the crash, Ben had to move in with his parents and endured months of physiotherapy and daily exercises to rebuild his strength. Now two years on, the keen amateur sportsman is back playing tennis and riding his bike again off-road. He hopes his experience will help raise awareness of National Road Victim Month, run by charity Roadpeace from 31 July to 30 August.
Louise Morgan, a serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping people like Ben who have been injured in road traffic collisions, said: “Ben’s injuries have had a massive impact on his life but it’s been a testament to his courage and determination to get back on his feet that he has come so far.
“After the accident he needed help from his parents to get about, to get dressed and to make his meals. It was a massive shock for him as he was used to cycling everywhere, going rock climbing and playing tennis regularly.
“I hope his case shows other people going through similar periods of rehabilitation that you can get your life back on track if you remain as focused and determined as Ben did. “Sadly, we continue to see so many people whose lives have been devastated as a consequence of road traffic collisions. We have repeatedly called for all road users to take greater care and be more vigilant of others in order to improve road safety so we also hope Ben’s case is a stark reminder about how important it is for motorists and cyclists to share the roads safely.”
Ben says the past two years have been the most difficult of his life as he battled his way back to health. When he was discharged from hospital after a couple of weeks he was only able to use one crutch due to the injuries to his right elbow.
He had to sleep in the living room of his parents’ house because he couldn’t negotiate the stairs properly and suffered anxiety as he tried to come to terms with his injuries and losing his independence.
However, after just a few weeks he moved back home to his own flat in a bid to regain his independence and confidence where he started to play guitar and write his own lyrics in order to keep busy and active.
Ben in now able to enjoy walks in the Peak District, is playing tennis once again but is still apprehensive about cycling on the roads.
He said: “The accident happened in a split second and I remember being thrown from my bike, rolling over the bonnet of the car and falling heavily onto the road. I don’t remember going to hospital and being sent for all the scans and tests my parents later told me about.
“It was really frightening to wake up and see my leg pinned with such a huge frame.
“I had to go to the hospital once a fortnight to have the pins in my leg tightened and I had to clean the pin sites to prevent any infections. I also had physiotherapy once a week and did daily exercises at home because I was so determined to make as good a recovery as possible.
“It really has been the most horrific experience of my life going from being so independent and active to being reliant on my mum and dad and not being able to do the things I loved, such as cycling, camping, playing tennis and rock climbing. I just hope my case is a stark reminder to all road users about the importance of being alert and safe on the roads so that accidents like mine do not happen in future.”
For more information about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to Cycling Accident Claims.