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Justice For Motorcyclist After Road Smash Causes Serious Injuries

Lawyers Call For Drivers To Be Vigilant Of Other Road Users


A motorcyclist who suffered serious injuries when a car performed a U-turn on a busy main road, ploughing into him and sending him hurtling through the air, has joined calls for drivers to be more vigilant of other road-users after receiving a five-figure settlement to help get his life back on track.

Owain Sullivan was airlifted to East Surrey Hospital after the horrific smash on the busy A22 near Horney Corner, East Sussex on 18th April 2009. The impact flung Owain into the air and over the roof of the car, before finally landing on the road some distance away. His injuries were initially feared to be extremely serious, including fractures to his wrist and cuts, bruises and soft tissue damage to his neck, spine and groin.

The trainee mechanic, from Nutley, was left so traumatised by the incident that he was unable to face riding a motorcycle or even travelling as a passenger for months afterwards. He also spent eight weeks off work recovering from his injuries.

The 25-year-old instructed specialist personal injury experts at Irwin Mitchell who helped him in his battle for justice securing a £22,500 settlement from the driver’s insurers to cover Owain’s pain, suffering and the loss of earnings he suffered during his recovery.

The collision happened as Owain was returning home from work. A Peugeot 206 turned left into a side road and Owain believes that without warning, the motorist performed a U-turn back out onto the main A22, into the path of his motorcycle.

Rosalyn Holmes, a personal injury expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Owain is only too aware that his injuries could have been far more serious. The settlement is for both the physical and psychological injuries he suffered and will hopefully allow him to now move forward with his life.

“Although he has since made a good recovery, he is keen to ensure that what happened to him serves as a lesson to other motorists.

“Sadly we continue to see so many people whose lives have been devastated as a consequence of road traffic accidents. We have repeatedly called for all road users to take greater care and be more vigilant of others in order to improve road safety.”

Owain said: “The whole thing happened in a split second and I had no time to avoid the collision. Initially paramedics thought my injuries were very severe.

“I am so grateful for the crew of the air ambulance who looked after me on my journey to hospital. Thankfully the pain in my spine was later diagnosed as severe bruising and soft tissue damage. My fractured wrist had to be manipulated and re-set which was really painful and although I was given drugs to knock me out, I ended up being awake during the procedure. I also had to have stitches for cuts I suffered.

“My fractured wrists and cuts and bruises healed over time, but it was the psychological damage which took the longest to get over. Every time I closed my eyes the whole nightmare would play over again in my mind. It took months before I could even think about getting back onto a motorcycle.

“Both the police and my Dad, who had been called to the scene, have since described the aftermath of the crash to me. Apparently there was a huge dent that my little 250cc motorcycle made in the Peugeot 206, which almost bent the car clean in half, so I know that I am very fortunate not to have been more seriously injured.

“The settlement thankfully now draws a line under the whole thing but I hope my story reminds everyone to think of others on the roads.”


Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to road traffic accidents