Cyclist received £29,500 in compensation after missed injuries prolongs recovery period
How to claim for a road traffic accident
Want to know more about claiming for a road traffic accident? Jargon free, we’ll explain your legal rights, letting you know everything you need to know about claiming.
How much compensation can I claim for a road traffic accident?
Read our medical negligence legal guides to understand your legal rights and how much compensation you may be able to claim.
Luke is due to graduate in early 2023 where he looks to be able to forge ahead with a new career as a carer in mental health wards and build upwards to obtain a place on a doctoral course to become a qualified clinical psychologist. “Without the support from Express Solicitors and a successful outcome they secured I simply wouldn’t be on this path.”
The day everything changed
On the day of the accident, Luke set off on his usual daily commute from home to work as the Head of Administration at Oxford University. Travelling on the same route he had for the past seven years, Luke recalls: “I was cycling down Iffley Road, a main busy road in Oxford. There was traffic on the right-hand side, the road has a slight hill but not a fast one. It was rush hour, around 08:30 I recall, there was a queue of traffic sitting still but the bike lane was open.
“There’s a pedestrian crossing at the bottom of this hill that was flashing amber, so I was slowing down as I got near it. The crossing was clear so I carried on. Beyond the crossing, there’s a side road on the left, where cars leave a gap so people can turn across into it or vehicles can come out of it. Unknown to me, a van that was sitting in the line of traffic had flashed a lorry to turn right into this road.
As it was a high-sided van I didn’t see the lorry until I was in front of the van and the lorry didn’t see me until they had already turned right and came across my path.”
Luke took the full force of the lorry on his right side, which floored him on impact, hitting his head with force on the ground following the impact of the collision. Luckily Luke was wearing a helmet and a nearby nurse and jogger quickly attended to him at the scene.
After an hour of being attended to by the passers-by, Luke recalls both the Ambulance and Police being in attendance.
“I remember hitting my head. I also remember it was overcast and the floor was wet and there were a couple of people standing over me.
“I was on the floor for around an hour, Ambulance and Police were there as apparently, I spoke to them for a while but I don’t remember that bit but I do recall them needing to cut my shirt and coat and other clothing off of me.”
Luke was taken to the nearby hospital around 10:00am and was released later that day. “I did feel as if I was rushed through to free up beds and I do think as a result they didn’t do too much for the concussion I received other than a quick brain scan. Once they’d ruled out anything too significant, I was discharged.”
Badly scraped and bruised from the accident, while in hospital, Luke also had X Rays but the medical team failed to spot that his collar bone was broken and that his right shoulder ligaments were torn.
“They didn’t identify all the issues in the hospital.”
“Maybe they hoped that I would heal naturally but because of the broken collar bone there wasn’t the space for it to heal again fully, so that became a long process of physiotherapy and eventually getting surgery a year later.
“The surgery on my collar bone involved them going in and basically shaving off part of the bone, which gave the space for the shoulder to go in and heal properly and reattach as it should be.
“While I was recovering both from the initial accident injuries and the surgery a year later, I couldn’t really do anything. I was having to sleep on a couch so I could prop myself up right to sleep in a semi comfortable position.”
Following the accident, Luke’s concussion lasted three to four months. Although he returned to work after a period of one full month at home convalescencing followed by a month’s phased return, his concussion continued to impact upon his daily working life.
“Everyday tasks that usually came naturally prior to the accident were taking longer and because of the concussion I really had to actively think about my next steps on a task.
“Often finding the right words to say was an issue too and took some searching. This went on for a while after the accident. I’d say around three to four months afterwards which was disconcerting.”
Delayed treatment and impact of PTSD on recovery
Dealing with delays in treatment and slow recovery didn’t help Luke’s recovery and as a direct result of the accident itself, Luke developed PTSD symptoms.
“I started having nightmares following the accident. I never had them as a child.
They started a couple of months after the accident and continued for a while.
“After diagnosis, I went on a clinical trial through the University of Oxford to work through my PTSD following self-guided modules and 20-minute online consultations with a psychologist. Whilst my symptoms have improved, there are still signs and symptoms of my PTSD but they are not severe anymore that I would classify as someone with it.
“In a breakthrough, just this month and for the first time since the accident I have travelled to university on my bike.”
The impact on daily life today
“Today I still feel the effects of the accident. There are still some health issues to work on and overcome but I’m hopeful of returning to cycling slowly and to start rekindling the things that I used to do.
“Because of the PTSD there was a good deal of time where there was a reluctance to really go out places or be in and around cars. Particularly around vehicles that use air brakes – such as lorries and buses – because that was the last sound, I heard.”
Luke said: “Before the accident I was doing Olympic distance triathlons and half marathons so that all stopped and I haven’t done anything since. I have about 15 medals in total for all the events I have taken part in but for six months post the accident I just couldn’t exercise. It was just too painful.
“Today I still feel the effects of the accident. There are still some health issues to work on and overcome.”
“I’m hopeful of returning to cycling slowly and to start rekindling the things that I used to do.”