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Motorcyclist Reveals Fight To Overcome Life-Threatening Injuries Caused By Drink Driver in A1400 Woodford Green Crash

Family And Irwin Mitchell Speak Warn Of Dangers Of Driving Above Legal Limit

07.03.2019

Andrew Hewitt, Press Officer | 0114 274 4255

A motorcyclist seriously injured when he was hit by a drink driver has spoken of his dismay after government figures revealed casualty rates involving people above the alcohol limit on London’s roads rose 25 per cent.

James Hadden suffered a catalogue of injuries when a motorist performing an illegal U-Turn veered into the path of his blue Suzuki bike on the A1400 in Woodford Green, East London.

Medical staff had to perform two emergency operations at the roadside to save the 62-year-old’s life before he was airlifted to hospital. 

James, of Woodford Green, spent several weeks in an induce coma and five months in hospital during which he missed his eldest son’s wedding.

He is now deaf in both ears, has lost the use of his left arm and has mobility problems. His injuries mean he is unlikely to return to work as an electrician.

Following the collision James instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the crash and help him access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies he needs to try and overcome his injuries.

After the driver pleaded guilty of causing the crash in which James was injured, the father-of-two has joined his legal team at Irwin Mitchell in speaking out about the dangers of drink driving.

It comes after latest Department for Transport figures revealed that the number of people killed or injured on the capital’s roads as a result of drink riving rose by a quarter in a year – from 540 in 2015 to 680 in 2016.

Expert Opinion
“James’ life has been turned upside in a split second because of the dangerous actions of the driver.

“Although James has now returned home, his injuries continue to have a profound effect on his life and the lives of his family. His recovery is going to take a long time.

“It is worrying that the government’s statistics highlight an increase in the number of road casualties associated with drink driving. Sadly through our work we too often see first-hand the devastation that families can be left to face because of the selfish actions of road users who continue think it is acceptable to drive when above the alcohol limit.

“We will continue to support James and his family so he can access the specialist rehabilitation he needs to help him overcome his injuries the best he can.”
Amey Welch, Solicitor & Legal Executive

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling serious injury cases 

James has been married to Marian for 37 years. They have two sons Michael and James, age 37 and 36.

James was travelling to a car boot sale at Wanstead Golf Club at around 10.30am on 23 June, 2018, when he was hit by the driver near to the junction with Tesco.

He was initially in an induced coma and suffered a fractured collar bone, shattered pelvis, fractured left leg, broken ribs and nerve damage to his left arm. James was operated on at the scene to inflate a punctured lung and remove a blood clot from his arm.

He was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. He underwent a number of further operations before he was discharged home at on 8 November 2018.

James, who had worked on major projects such as the construction of the Channel Tunnel and London Bridge station, said: “One minute I was just riding along and the next thing this car came right in front of me. I didn’t have any time to react.

“I can’t really remember much after that. It was only later that I was told that I asked a woman who saw the crash to phone Marian as I thought I was dying.

“Before the crash I was fit and healthy, I had to be for my job and enjoyed working on my bike and DIY, just normal things that many people enjoy.

“However, now my life is totally different. I struggle to even move around the house. But the worst part was missing Michael’s wedding in France.

“To have to spend what should have been one of the proudest days of my life in hospital while the rest of the family were at the wedding is something that I will never forgive the driver for.

“Everyone has known for decades the dangers that drink driving can pose and the laws designed to prevent this. I cannot believe in this day and age people still think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel after a drink. What is even more worrying is that there appears that drink driving rates don’t appear to be falling.

“It would be easy to dwell on what has happened and feel sorry for myself but I am determined to try and stay positive. I know that I have many challenges ahead but I want to make the most of life and focus on my recovery and repay my family for all the love and support they have shown me over the last few months.

“All I hope now is that by speaking out people realise the impact that driving after drinking alcohol can have and don’t take the risk. Not only can they kill or injure another driver or pedestrian they can kill themselves.”

Marian added: “James was so easy going and laid back before the crash. However, he can get frustrated because he cannot do all the things he wants to.

“We are just grateful that James is still with us. We cannot thank the emergency services enough for everything they did on the day of the crash and since.

“Everyone is so proud of the determination James has shown to battle back.”

The driver, Mubasher Kiani, aged 33 from Newham, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving when above the alcohol limit, driving without insurance and failing to provide a specimen when he appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court.

He was jailed for 28 months at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday.

Find more information on the number of people killed or injured on London’s roads since 2010 on the gov.uk website.