A moped rider has received £28,000 damages after a bus company failed to clear spilled oil from a busy road outside its depot, causing an accident which left him with a torn shoulder.
The injury has had a big impact on the life of the rugby-playing rider, who was 17-years-old at the time and taking a joinery apprenticeship.
He has since had to finish playing rugby, a sport he had enjoyed since the age of six, and has been told long term damage to his shoulder – which makes it painful for him to lift his arm above his head – could impact on his working career in the future.
These factors were all taken into account in a claim against the insurers of the bus company, who admitted liability for the accident following legal action on behalf of the rider by Hudgell Solicitors.
“The accident had a huge impact on my life and I have never known pain like it,” said the 50cc moped rider, now aged 18.
“I hadn’t been travelling particularly fast and I applied my brakes because I could see a taxi pulling out from a side street ahead of me. As soon as I applied my brakes the bike just skidded out of control. I can remember thinking ‘how on earth has that happened?’
“I can then remember the pain of being on the road as I had landed on my shoulder. I kept trying to get up but it was too painful to do so. People came to help me, but it was when the police and ambulance people turned up that they mentioned the oil on the road.
“A police officer said to me that it was like an ice-rink because of the oil in the road. It was only then that it made any sense as to why I had lost control as I had not jammed on the brakes and the weather was sunny with no rain. The roads were completely dry.
“The police questioned the people at the bus depot and they admitted that the oil had been there from the day before they’d had a bus leaking oil on the forecourt. It should have been cleared away. I thought that was bad but at least they held their hands up for what they had done.”
Bus firm were liable for accident having left oil on busy road
Assistant solicitor Kirsty Hodgson, of Hudgell Solicitors, handled the legal case on behalf of the moped rider, and said damages were recovered to reflect the long-term impact of the injury.
“This accident has had a big impact on my client’s life and like many road accident victims, he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.
“It has left him struggling to lift his arm above head height, something which could impact on his career in later life in his employment as a joiner.
“Although he didn’t need an operation it did take some eight months for the injury to heal, after physiotherapy, and he has been left with some ongoing weakness in his shoulder.
“This has meant he has had to stop playing rugby, which was a passion of his from being a young boy.
“In this case it was clear that the accident was caused by the oil in the road, which the bus operator had been aware of but had not taken action to remove.
“This made a busy city road very dangerous for other drivers, and although this was a serious accident, it could have been much worse.
“We were pleased that the bus firm admitted liability and that we were able to recover a substantial damages settlement which reflects the longer term problems this injury could cause for our client.”
Injured biker ‘ecstatic’ with damages secured by Hudgell Solicitors
The biker said: “I am ecstatic with the financial settlement Kirsty secured for me.
“It was a difficult time after the accident and I have found it hard missing out on my rugby. I’d love to play again but I can’t risk another hit on my shoulder because that could leave me needing surgery and further disruption.
“I am going to use some of the money on myself and treat myself, but the rest I am going to bank away for the future.
“I can’t thank Hudgells enough, they have been fantastic. It was all explained to me throughout and Kirsty said I should be compensated for the future impact the injury may have.
“It was never confusing, and I was kept informed at all times. As I say, the result was really pleasing.”