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‘I’m Trying To Rebuild My Life’ Says Cyclist Left With Severe Head Injuries After Collision

Serious Injury Lawyers Support Action For Brain Injury Week


By Helen MacGregor

A cyclist who suffered life changing head injuries when a van driver ploughed into him on a busy roundabout has praised hospital and rehabilitation staff for their ‘outstanding’ work as the country marks Action For Brain Injury Week.

Father-of-two Ian Adam, from Chippenham, spent three months in hospital for treatment to head, ankle and shoulder injuries and has been forced to give up his job as a computer analyst following the accident on 16 May 2012 when he was travelling to work.

The 49-year-old instructed serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to help him gain access to funds for the rehabilitation and care he needs as he now struggles to concentrate, process information and has problems with his memory. He is speaking out for the first time ahead of the anniversary of the collision and to raise awareness of Headway’s Action for Brain Injury Week which takes place on 13-19 May.

Ian was initially taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath and then to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol to repair the fracture to his ankle. He was then transferred to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath where he was placed on its brain injury rehabilitation unit until he was discharged in August.

The van driver, Frederick Hamlen, was charged with driving without due care and attention and following a hearing at Chippenham Magistrates Court in November 2012 he was fined £180 and given five points on his driving license.

In November 2012 his insurers admitted responsibility for the collision and Deborah Bigwood, an expert lawyer from Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office is now working to secure Ian a care and rehabilitation package that will also cover his loss of earnings as he is unlikely to be able to return to anything other than voluntary work in the future.
She said: “Ian suffered devastating injuries in the collision which were a result of the driver not paying enough attention to the road. His actions that day will continue to affect Ian for the rest of his life which is of course something that is very hard for him and his family to come to terms with.

“We are pleased that there has been a quick admission of liability as we can now concentrate on helping Ian gain access to the funds he needs to continue his rehabilitation and secure his future.

“While no amount of money can turn back the clock and prevent accidents from occurring, our aim is to help clients like Ian achieve as much independence as possible and help provide them with the quality of life they deserve.

“We have long supported Headway’s Action for Brain Injury Week and the fantastic work it does in raising awareness of how brain injuries can affect individual’s lives and provides support to them and their families.”

Ian, who lives with his wife Sharon and two children who are aged 17 and 18, said: “I cycle to Chippenham train station every day to catch a train to work. I don’t remember the day of the accident at all but I have been told that a van failed to stop at a roundabout which I was already cycling round and knocked me off my bike.

“The next thing I knew I woke up in hospital about three weeks later with my leg in plaster. Everything was very hazy and I didn’t know what had happened. It soon became clear that my head injury was very serious and I had also needed surgery to repair a fracture to my ankle.

“I cannot thank the hospital and rehabilitation staff enough for their outstanding support. The fact I was able to go home so soon after the accident considering the severity of my injuries is testament to their hard work and support.

“I am also extremely grateful to the community of Chippenham for all their help and prayers throughout this time.

“It is hard not to be angry about the fact that this accident has changed my life forever but I am determined to look to the future and rebuild my life. I have a fantastic rehabilitation team both in terms of physical, emotional and practical therapies who ensure that I make progress on a daily basis.

“Headway is a fantastic charity offering support to victims and their families and helps them come to terms with living with a brain injury. Action for Brain Injury week is vital in raising awareness of the fantastic services Headway provides and I hope it acts as reminder to people to show their support.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to cycling accident claims