£4.5 million settlement for motorcyclist after collision with a car

Another great outcome for an Aspire Law client following the life changing injuries he suffered after a road traffic collision. A lump sum settlement was negotiated with the defendant insurer, avoiding the need to attend Court and have a trial on the issues.

The senior Aspire Law team included Damian Horan, Anna West and James Wood. Aspire Law also instructed leading experts and counsel Robert Weir KC of Devereux Chambers.


The background

The client, a London resident, was riding his motorcycle in central London when a car pulled out in front of him from a side road. Whilst attempting to avoid the car up ahead the client braked hard and lost control before colliding with the side of the third-party vehicle.

Our client was taken to St Georges hospital where he received emergency surgery to secure his spine, which was severely damaged in the accident. As a consequence of the collision, our client sustained a T4 complete spinal cord injury, rendering him paralysed from the chest down.



At the request of the family, Aspire Law attended hospital and met with the client and his wife. Aspire law were the client’s preferred law firm and were instructed shortly after that – with a view to securing significant damages for the client.

Whilst a driver pulling out of a side was supportive of a successful claim, there were allegations that our client was exceeding the speed limit at the time. The defendant insurer, for the third-party driver, argued that the accident would have been avoided all together had the motorcycle been travelling within the speed limit.

Aspire Law obtained all the available evidence from the scene, from witnesses, the police, the ambulance and fire services. There was also extensive CCTV footage, which required detailed analysis with the assistance of an expert forensic engineer. The vehicles involved were also examined to determine the exact point of impact and understand whether there were any mechanical matters that contributed to the crash.


Litigation Process

The defendant maintained our client was speeding and so the question of who was liable for the accident remained a live argument for almost two years. It could only be resolved through agreement between the parties or a trial on the issue.


Difficulties following injury

As a spinal cord injured person, our client faced the many challenges associated with this life changing injury. He was in need of equipment, income, transport and somewhere to live. Whilst statutory services are usually able to help to some extent, these services can be limited and slow. Aspire Law are acutely aware of these issues and so, as with most clients with a claim, we secured interim payments from the defendant insurer. We also secured agreement from the defendant insurer to instruct the services of an expert case manager. With the interim payment monies the case manager was able to locate all the necessary equipment and find a place for our client to live with his family.


Developments during the claim/h3>

Following discharge from hospital our client did remarkably well adapting to his new life with a spinal cord injury and as a full-time wheelchair user. As a dedicated family man, he was keen to get back to his family and support them as he had before his injury. Throughout this period the client was supported by the Aspire Law team and the expert case manager arranging an accessible house, an adapted car, a lightweight wheelchair amongst other aids and equipment to ease him back into every day life. He also underwent an assessment for a bionic exoskeleton to assist with his rehabilitation and the possibility of walking again with the assistance of robotics.



Liability remained in dispute. Aspire Law maintained the third-party driver was to blame, despite the expert forensic evidence confirming the motorcycle was exceeding the speed limit. Nevertheless, had the matter gone before a judge it was likley that there would be a finding of contributory negligence – that our client was partly to blame.

Following conclusion of the forensic expert evidence, the parties agreed to a joint settlement meeting to attempt to resolve the issue of liability. The defendant insurer offered to settle liability 50:50. After many hours deliberation, with both parties’ counsel and the experts present, agreement was finally reached with liability shared two-thirds, one-third in our client’s favour, meaning our their offer of 50:50 liability.



With liability resolved Aspire Law embarked on an extensive quantum (value) investigation which brought together around a dozen leading experts in all areas to fully understand and eventually itemise (in a schedule of loss), the total damages due. During this process, Aspire Law continued to support the client with further interim payments and a case manager who provided expert guidance and assistance as required.

Some time later, after all the expert evidence had been obtained, the parties exchanged their reports and agreed to another joint settlement meeting to see if damages could be agreed; again in an attempt to avoid court and any trial on the issues.

The meeting was a success. Our client agreed to a lump sum seven figure settlement, which would provide him and his family with lifelong security and the means to have a successful future.



As with all spinal cord injuries, this was a life changing event that required expert guidance, support and navigation to ensure the best outcome for the client. The alleged excess speed of the motorcycle required detailed forensic analysis to reconstruct the events leading up to the accident. This approach enabled Aspire Law to negotiate the best outcome for the client and avoid the need for a trial. Steady momentum on this case was achieved through robust reporting and a sensible dialogue with the defendant insurer, which also saw numerous interim payments made to our client before settlement was finally reached.


Damian Horan says: “This case is a great example of why it is so important to choose a specialist solicitor. Aspire Law has a very impressive track record of taking on and winning claims other firms would turn away. The expertise we have built up over many decades is how we can make a genuine difference to the outcome of a difficult case”

Contact Us

If you or a close member of your family have recently sustained a spinal cord injury, you will need expert advice and assistance. You could be eligible for spinal injury compensation. Please fill out our content form and one of our spinal injury solicitors will get in touch with you.