A teenager who was injured when she was thrown from her motorcycle after a farmer left a country road covered in mud has been awarded £10,000 compensation.
Carrie Dickinson was 16 when the accident happened just a few miles from her home in Belton, near Doncaster, at about 4pm on October 17, 2013.
She had left college early and visited her dad Garry Dickinson, in Epworth, before leaving to drop off her bike at her grandmother’s house about seven miles away.
But mud left on the road, which is close to two local farmer’s fields, caused her wheels to lose grip and she lost control of the bike, resulting in her landing on her head and shoulder at the side of the road.
Although Miss Dickinson, now 18, was not knocked unconscious, she broke her collarbone, which required surgery, and suffered severe concussion, as well as cuts and bruises.
Mr Dickinson was travelling just minutes behind his daughter, ready to collect her from her grandmother’s for a family weekend at Brands Hatch for the final of the British Superbike Championship, so was among the first on the scene and drove her to the local GP before attending Scunthorpe Hospital.
Hudgell Solicitors, who represented Miss Dickinson, alleged the farmer caused or permitted the highway to become or remain in a dangerous, defective condition, and a trap to anyone in that area, failed to fence, guard or warn Miss Dickinson of the hazard, and failed to remove the mud, causing injury, loss and damage.
Now, she has been awarded £10,000 compensation from the farmer’s insurers after they admitted a breach of duty in terms of leaving mud on the road.
Rebecca Cone, personal injury claim handler at Hudgell Solicitors, who dealt with the case, said the same insurance company represented two farmers in the local area and admitted liability on behalf of one of them.
She said: “This was quite an unusual case.
“There was a lot of mud and it was clear to see in the photographic evidence, but we still had to prove the farmer was negligent in not removing it.
“We initially went to the local council, but it was not their responsibility and we investigated further.
“I was pleased that the insurance company came back and admitted liability for one of the farmers so quickly.
“Although Carrie suffered a broken collarbone, discomfort and injury, we are so pleased to have secured such a positive outcome for her.”
Carrie, a personal training student at North Lindsey College, now hopes to use the compensation to complete her driving lessons and buy a car, as well as save for her future.
But said she will never forget the accident, which also resulted in her needing some physiotherapy treatment.
Carrie said: “I had been riding for about a month and I was always a safe driver.
“I’m disgusted the farmer didn’t clear up the road, or put some signs up. If the mud wasn’t there, it wouldn’t have happened.
“The accident happened mid-corner and I ended up about 20m down the road. It’s a bit of a blur and I can’t really describe the emotions I was feeling. But it was pure shock and my legs were like jelly.
“I’m so thankful to Rebecca and Hudgell Solicitors. They have done such a good job for me.”
Mr Dickinson, 50, who took photographs of the accident site to help as evidence for the case, said the image of his daughter on the road side is something which will stay with him forever.
He said: “We cut across country to follow Carrie to her grandmother’s and there was a lot of mud on the road.
“Then we saw Carrie on the grass verge. My girlfriend and I arrived within five minutes of the accident happening.
“I instantly panicked. She was dazed and had taken her crash helmet and gloves off. She was rambling and in shock.
“When I saw her, it was pure horror. I was trying to get out of the car while it was still moving because my instinct kicked in to make sure she was okay. It really did frighten me.
“To see your daughter there at the side of the road is every parent’s worst nightmare.
“I turned the key to switch the bike off but I didn’t look at it because I was more bothered about Carrie.”
Mr Dickinson initially drove his daughter to the local GP, as he said her pain did not appear to be as bad at first. But she later went to Scunthorpe Hospital, where X-Rays confirmed her collarbone was broken in two.
Although she still managed to enjoy her motorsport weekend away, she had to have surgery to pin her collarbone at Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop about three weeks later.
Mr Dickinson said he could not speak highly enough of the way Hudgell Solicitors, in particular Rebecca, dealt with his daughter’s case.
He said: “From the first day I spoke to Rebecca, I was really impressed because she was so professional. Hudgell Solicitors are true professionals and people like that are few and far between.
“I was very surprised when the farmer’s insurance company agreed to pay out. But I took so many photographs and there was so much evidence, so it was the right thing to do.”