5 million pound settlement for dad on e-bike hit by an uninsured driver attempting a U-Turn

An extremely deserving outcome for this father of two who was knocked from his electric bike whilst commuting home from work. The parties were able to avoid a trial with Aspire Law extracting a full admission of liability from the third-party insurer in the early stages of the claim.

The Aspire Law team was led by Damian Horan and assisted by Aspire Law’s senior solicitors and leading counsel, Gerard McDermott KC of Kings Chambers.



Our client was injured when he was struck by a motor vehicle being driven by the third-party whilst cycling in Manchester. The third-party’s vehicle had been parked at the side of the road and was attempting to perform a U-turn. Our client was knocked off of his bicycle and sustained a significant spinal cord injury as a result.

Following the accident our client was taken to Salford Royal Hospital by ambulance and was subsequently transferred to the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital.

As a result of the accident our client sustained spinal cord damage at T2, T3 and T4 and he had a metal plate fitted at T4. At the time of our client’s discharge from the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre our client was assessed as having complete paraplegia.

The third-party pled guilty in criminal proceedings to driving without due care and attention, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving on a public road without insurance.



Following contact from the client (to discuss Aspire Law’s expertise in spinal cord injury), the client decided to change his solicitors from a less experienced firm to Aspire Law – a straight forward process, which Aspire Law arranged.

Given the illegal U-turn and collision with our client, it looked likely that the claim would succeed against the third-party driver – indeed, Aspire Law were able to secure an admission of primary liability within a matter weeks after being instructed. However, the third-party insurer alleged contributory negligence, saying that our client was partly to blame.

As a result of the allegations of contributory negligence, Aspire Law instructed an expert forensic engineer. The expert engineer would reconstruct the events leading up to and including the collision to understand whether any blame lay with our client. To assist in this process, Aspire Law obtained evidence from all the available sources to include the police, the ambulance service and witnesses. The expert also visited the location and took measurements along with photographic evidence, which would enable him to produce a detailed plan and reconstruction report.

The report strongly supported our client had done nothing wrong. As a result of this solid evidence Aspire Law were able to extract a full admission of liability from the third-party insurer.


Litigation process

With a full admission of liability from the third-party insurer, the Aspire Law team could focus on obtaining the comprehensive quantum (value), evidence necessary to itemise all the losses consequent upon our client due to his injuries.

Aspire Law did issue ‘protective’ court proceedings in this case but this was largely to ensure there were no issues with limitation – normally 3 years from the date of the accident. It was expected that the claim would settle at a joint settlement meeting without the need for a trial, but court proceedings were required in this case to ensure the smooth running of the claim.


Difficulties following injury

Our client was paralysed from the chest down. As such he would be a permanent wheelchair user for the rest of his life. This change in lifestyle would require a significant amount of equipment and support from a dedicated team of experts. Everything from the family home to the simplest of tasks like shopping would need to be reviewed, understood and solutions put in place.

To this end Aspire Law instructed a local case manager who was able to pull together all aspects of our client’s daily living to ensure he and his family had somewhere to live as his pre injury accommodation wasn’t suitable for a wheelchair user, as well as access to an adapted vehicle, an appropriate wheelchair and a care package to support our client and his family.


Developments during the claim

Aspire Law instructed around 12 different experts who reported on our client’s needs. These included medical experts and non-medical experts such as care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, housing and transport.

During this time, the case manager located a suitable property for our client to move to. This was a substantial 6 bedroom property with ample space for all the family and extensive parking. With the interim payments Aspire Law had obtained our client was able to move into the property quickly and purchase the necessary furniture and equipment which the case manager helped organise. Our client was so pleased with the house, he would later buy it out of the monies Aspire Law secured for him at settlement.

Interim payments of around £400,000 were obtained during the lifetime of this claim.



Both parties were keen to avoid a trial if at all possible but this would only occur if Aspire Law and the third-party insurer could agree on what the damages should be. The insurer would want to keep the damages as low they could. Conversely, Aspire Law would want to achieve the highest level of damages possible.



The parties agreed to have a joint settlement meeting when they would try to settle the claim. Ahead of this each party would disclose, without prejudice, their expert evidence and schedules of loss to set out their stalls.

At the meeting the third-party insurer made several offers. Initially the parties were some distance apart with a difference of over one million pounds; although through detailed discussions and careful negotiation Aspire Law managed to achieve increased offers from the third-party insurer. This culminated in a final lump sum offer of five million pounds, which our client was happy to accept.

accident at work

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