Motorbike accident news


Is the Boyes Turner personal injury team right for you?

When someone has suffered a personal injury it is essential that they pick the right solicitor to assist them with their claim.

Carefully selecting the correct solicitor will ensure that you have:

  1. Access to up to date legal advice.
  2. Advice from a large network of specialists that we work with, such as medical experts, barristers, financial and welfare benefit advisors, employment and educational experts, housing and conveyancing specialists, and more.
  3. Access to specialist care and rehabilitation providers to assist you in your recovery journey.
  4. A speedy conclusion of your claim.
  5. Peace of mind that you will receive the compensation you need to secure your future.

No two claims are the same, even if the injuries are similar or if they were injured in the same accident. Thankfully Boyes Turner’s team of dedicated personal injury specialists are able to advise on all types of personal injury claims from minor injuries right through to life changing injuries such as brain injuries, spinal injuries and amputations.

Below we give you a quick introduction to the partners in the team and the specialisms they hold.

Kim Smerdon

Kim Smerdon leads Boyes Turner’s highly regarded personal injury team. A specialist in catastrophic injury cases, Kim acts for clients with acquired brain damage, spinal injuries and serious orthopaedic injuries.

Kim has extensive experience of all types of personal injury cases and has acted for clients who have been injured in road traffic accidents, in the workplace, as a result of defective products and criminal injuries.

A keen charity fundraiser, Kim recently completed the 3 Peaks Challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours to raise over £35,000 for The Debbie Fund, a charity set up to raise funds for research into cervical cancer.

Kim is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel and an accredited senior litigator and brain injury specialist with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). She is an associate member of the Child Brain Injury Trust, and a member of the Brain Injury Social Work Group, Headway and Spinal Injuries Panel Solicitors. She is a Headway Life Member, a trustee of Headway Thames Valley and trustee of the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust, a charity committed to saving young people’s lives by promoting safer cycling and benefits of using a cycle helmet. 

Claire Roantree

As a partner in Boyes Turner’s highly regarded personal injury team, Claire acts for clients with life-changing injuries, such as mild to very severe brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, severe burns, complex orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injury, chronic pain and PTSD. 

Claire works closely with the defendant insurers, using the Rehabilitation Code and securing interim payments to provide her injured clients with the treatment, care, facilities and support that they need to get their rehabilitation underway straight away, without losing valuable recovery time whilst waiting for final settlement at the conclusion of the claim. Working with experts in a variety of medical and therapeutic disciplines, professional case managers and carers, the client’s immediate needs are prioritised – recovery and rehabilitation – whilst the claim is quantified to make maximum provision  for their future needs for ongoing care, support and financial security.

A keen charity supporter and fundraiser she has used her love of running and walking to fundraise for The Children's Trust, Tadworth. She has run events for Headway SW London for whom she was a trustee for six years. She is a trustee for Cycle Smart and supports the charity’s campaign to raise cycling safety awareness and reduce road traffic accidents. 

Claire is a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel, APIL (Brain Injury Specialist Interest Group), Headway and ABIL (Acquired Brain Injury across London).

As you can see there is no type of claim that the team cannot handle and together they are confident that they can assist you in achieving the best recovery possible as well as the justice and compensation you deserve.

If you would like to speak to our specialist personal injury team please do not hesitate to contact us for a free no obligation advice by email

Cycle Safety and the Highway Code

Are you aware that it is a mandatory requirement of the Highway Code for all cycles to be fitted with reflectors and lights if being ridden at night?

Rule 60 of the Highway Code states that:

·       At night your cycle MUST have illuminated white front and red rear lights.

·       Your cycle MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 01 October 1985).

The above requirements within Rule 60 are mandatory. (The Highway Code emphasises this by highlighting the word “MUST” in bold capitals).

Rule 60 also states that:

·       While front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen.

·       Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp

These two recommendations are not mandatory, but are good advice to cyclists to ensure that they are safe and visible to other road users.

Boyes Turner are instructed by many cycle users who have been injured whilst cycling in circumstances where the correct use of cycle lights might have helped avoid the accident, such as falling from the bike owing to unseen defects in the road surface or collisions with another vehicle whose driver didn't see them.

Boyes Turner recommend that all cyclists comply with the Highway Code, both for their own safety and to increase their prospects of recovering compensation in the event of an accident.

Additionally, other items such as reflective strips, reflectors that can be attached to cycle helmets and specially designed, bright clothing can make you more visible to other road users.

Boyes Turner are trustees of “Cycle-Smart”, a local cycle charity in Reading and share their aims to promote cycle safety.

8 Top Tips for avoiding holiday accidents!

 Holiday Accidents

It’s holiday season, a time that we are often more relaxed, less vigilant and sometimes feeling a little more adventurous than usual, as we try to make the most of the time away from our usual routine.

Such a relaxed attitude can sometimes lead to accidents. Here are 8 Top Tips to help you to try and avoid holiday drama’s!

  • Make sure that you have adequate Travel Insurance cover – some sports and adventure activities require additional and more expensive insurance cover. Also, if you intend taking part in any sports or adventure activity where you are at risk of injury on holiday ensure that you wear the correct safety equipment and have proper instruction.

Holiday Accidents

  • If you are holidaying in an EU country apply for a European Health Insurance (EHIC) card which will assist in covering any emergency medical costs. They are easily obtainable via the internet or from the Post Office.

Holiday Accidents

  • Check the depth and cleanliness of the water when using the swimming pool. If you swim in the sea, a river or a lake obey any warning signs. Do not swim after drinking alcohol.
  • If a restaurant or café doesn’t look clean it probably isn’t. Holiday illness caused by food poisoning can ruin the rest of your holiday. Make sure that you report any issues at the time and try to find out whether anyone else has been affected.

  • Drink only bottled water to make sure that you aren’t at risk of suffering a holiday illness such as sickness and diarrhoea.

Holiday Accidents

  • To avoid a holiday illness make sure that you have the immunisations or booster shots and any medication, such as malaria tablets, required for the part of the world you are visiting.

Holiday Accidents

  • If you intend to drive abroad make sure you understand the road signs and that you remember to drive on the correct side of the road! If you are unfortunate to be involved in a road traffic accident abroad, make sure that you record names of the parties involved, vehicle registration numbers and insurance details. Call the Police to let them investigate liability and try to obtain any paperwork from them including Police report if possible.
  • If you are hiring a vehicle check it carefully and make sure that you have adequate insurance cover.

There are certain things that are beyond our control and if you suffer an injury on holiday or have a holiday illness contact a solicitor on your return to help you investigate a possible claim. We have a dedicated team who can offer straightforward and clear advice and assistance. Our approach is to work closely with the injured person to get maximum compensation and help recover from injuries sustained.

Tragic motorbike accident leaves Commonwealth judo star with severe brain injury

A Scottish Commonwealth Games judo star, Stephanie Inglis is in a coma with a severe brain injury, fighting for her life after motorbike accident abroad in Vietnam.

Stephanie Inglis, 27, who won silver competing for Scotland in the women’s 57kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, had an accident in Ha Long, north east Vietnam, where she had gone to teach English for six months. Her skirt caught in a wheel and pulled her off the bike. She has sustained severe brain injuries and has been transferred to hospital in Hanoi in a critical state. She is in a coma and there has been a lot of bleeding and swelling to the brain.

Her family friend, Mr Ghelan, started an online fundraising page to help the family with medical costs running into thousands of pounds as her travel insurance said that she was not covered.  Her friend said that Stephanie had gone to south-east Asia in the belief that she had the correct insurance.

Adrianna Rajwa, a solicitor in Boyes Turner personal injury department comments:

“It must be a very difficult time for Stephanie’s family as there are many unknowns. No one knows the answer of how long the coma will last or how severe the brain damage will be. The question of prognosis after severe brain injury may not be available for weeks or even months. Recovery from a brain injury can be a slow process and may take many months or years. It could be at least a year after an accident before the extent of potential recovery becomes clear, at least physically; psychological recovery may take even longer”.

The long term effects of a brain injury can be seen in an excellent awareness raising documentary ‘A different brain’ by Louis Theroux, which was broadcasted on 15 May 2016 by BBC2. The documentary gives a snapshot of the months of work that goes into the rehabilitation process by a range of experts and specialists, including neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, support workers and many others.

Boyes Turner personal injury team has represented many clients with severe brain injuries. By way of examples, we have acted on behalf of a University Student who suffered severe head injuries after a road traffic accident and on behalf of a 13 year old boy who was hit by a car.  We know that life with a brain injury can be very different, but it can be just as fulfilling with the right support and understanding.

Our expert brain injury lawyers aim to improve the quality of life of our clients by focusing on early rehabilitation and training. We have access to case managers to ensure that practical assistance is given as soon as possible and we can arrange for interim payments to be made to deal with any pressing financial needs or purchase any equipment or care that is necessary.

Our team are members of the Headway personal injury solicitors list which means we have agreed to work within the Headway personal injury lawyers code of conduct. Kim Smerdon, a Partner and head of the personal injury team, is a Trustee of Headway Thames Valley. This in turn means that by choosing us you can have confidence in the quality and expertise of our firm and our commitment to addressing your particular needs and circumstances.

Our priority is to work closely with the family of the injured person and to advise throughout the claim how we can help to obtain early interim payments to deal with rehabilitation costs, nursing care, specialist equipment, aids and appliances and money to replace lost income.

Motorcyclist wins compensation following tragic motorcycle accident

A 50 year old man, Mr Wiltshire, remembers leaving Tesco with nappies which he had just purchased for his grandchild, but that is all that he can remember. The next thing he remembers is waking up in intensive care some five days later. The injured man was advised that he was involved in a motorcycle accident when a car pulled out of a driveway and attempted to do a U-turn causing the accident. 

The motorcycle accident has left him with numerous injuries, including fractures to his right arm, leg and face, together with bleeding on his brain. Mr Wiltshire was employed as a production engineer at the time of his motorcycle accident however he is no longer able to continue with his work as a result of his injuries. He is therefore suffering extensive loss of earnings. Fortunately, his caring and loving wife quit her job to look after him for the first couple of months following discharge from the hospital. He was bedridden during this time and needed 24 hour care and assistance.

Mr Wiltshire sought specialist legal advice through his Union representatives in relation to the injuries and financial losses that he has sustained due to his injuries. Whilst motorcycle accidents do happen, the effect of them is profound on the injured party, together with their family members.  Mr Wiltshire was very fortunate to walk away with his life and has no bad feelings towards the negligent driver as a result.

Mr Wiltshire has had two operations since the motorcycle accident and still continues to have limited movement in his leg however is grateful that his life can still be enjoyed.

Moped rider secures compensation following partial paralysis after accident

A lady from Birmingham was involved in a horrific moped accident when she was driving along a road and the offending driver pulled out of a side road, without looking, and crashed into her vehicle, causing her catastrophic personal injuries.

She sustained severe injuries to her hip, sciatic nerve and her back, and was left partially paralysed in her left foot. The lady also underwent surgery which involved the insertion of plates and pins into her hip joint to keep them in place.

Sadly the injured lady is still continuing to have flashbacks from the accident, however now that the compensation claim has settled, she is well on her way to recovery. In total she spent 20 days in hospital and needed round the clock care due to the injuries she sustained. She is now able to mobilise with the use of a mobility vehicle however she can no longer walk without a stick or a wheelchair.

Following the accident she worked with specialist solicitors to bring a claim against the negligent driver, together with their insurers, who admitted liability early on. Valuation of her claim depended on her overall outcome. Her settlement included large claims for her future care and assistance and treatment that she is ultimately going to need.

Biker awarded £340k after road traffic accident results in amputation

  A 17 year old motorcyclist has recently been awarded £340,000 compensation following a road traffic accident in 2009.

Mr Wagner, a learner driver, was on his Honda motorcycle when he collided with a reversing milk tanker. The milk tanker driver was reversing his vehicle into a farm road and Mr Wagner was travelling at approximately 55 mph when he spotted the tanker in his path. Mr Wagner swerved to avoid the tanker but hit the rear offside wheel of a trailer attached to the tanker. He alleged that the driver carried out a manoeuvre which was dangerous, thus causing the accident.

Whilst the Judge found that the lorry driver was to blame he also said that Mr Wagner was 40% to blame for the accident for failing to keep a proper look out on the road.

As a result of the injuries sustained, Mr Wagner had his left leg amputated below the knee.

Kim Smerdon, a personal injury claim expert at Boyes Turner, said:

“This award is to be welcomed but the 40% deduction for contributory negligence means that he will not have recovered sufficient funds to allow him to purchase state of the art prosthetic limbs which really can make all the difference. It is very important that Mr Wagner gets the best expert advice as to what is available on his budget. I have seen the difference this makes to my own amputation clients”.

Paralysed motorcyclist to finally receive compensation

James West, a 25 year old motorcyclist, who was left paralysed from the waist down following an motorcycle accident in August 2012, is to finally receive his compensation following a High Court Judge ruling that he was in no way to blame for the accident.

James was riding his Kawasaki motorcycle along the B6047 in Leicestershire when he was hit by a truck driven by an employee of M A Clay Contracting.

The driver, Michael Myrie, was driving a Scania tipper lorry laden with asphalt travelling ahead of James in the same direction. Realising he had missed the right turning to his destination, Mr Myrie did a U turn into a layby so he could turn back. At this point, James was travelling at a reasonable speed and was attempting to overtake the lorry. However, the driver did not check his mirrors and see James and continued with the manoeuvre causing James to plough into the truck, unable to avoid the collision.

M A Clay denied liability at the Trial but the Judge found the lorry driver to be 100% responsible for the accident.

Sadly James, a former plumbing and heating engineer, suffered life changing injuries including a spinal cord break which left him paraplegic as well as a fractured skull and broken ribs.

James’ solicitors will now press for a substantial pay out to help fund his care and rehabilitation and much needed adaptations to his two storey home.

Kim Smerdon, specialist motorcycle accident claims solicitor, comments:

“Hopefully James can receive full compensation to allow him to have the best quality of life he can despite the awful injuries he has sustained. He will have significant and lifelong needs but will hopefully have the peace of mind that these costs will be covered by his compensation”.

Widow wins compensation for husband's motorcycle accident

The Court has recently ruled that a motorcyclist who died when he collided with a minibus was mainly to blame for the accident due to his excess speed.

Nevertheless the widow of the motorcyclist still obtained compensation as the driver of the minibus was also found 20% to blame.

The motorcyclist, a Paratrooper, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with an Army minibus which had turned across his path. His widow sued the Ministry of Defence, the employers of the driver of the minibus.

The widow’s lawyers argue that although her husband was riding his motorcycle too fast, the driver of the minibus was also to blame because he should not have crossed the carriageway when he did as he did not have sufficient time to do so. The driver from the minibus denied liability.

However, in January the Court ruled that although the motorcyclist was largely to blame for the accident the minibus driver was also 20% liable and should therefore pay a fifth of the widow’s claim. The Court Judge ruled that although the motorcyclist was driving too fast the minibus driver should not have started to turn across the carriageway until he had satisfied himself as to the speed of the motorcycle.

Kim Smerdon, Partner specialising in motorcycle claims, says:

“This case demonstrates that it is always worth seeking legal advice whaever the circumstances are of the accident.  Even though the motorcyclist was largely to blame for the accident his widow will still receive compensation of around £100,000.00 as a result of the accident”.

Motorcyclist awarded £6 million in compensation following a motorbike crash in Germany

James Booth, a 39 year old Sales Director with IBM, suffered brain damage, multiple fractures and serious internal injuries when a tractor pulled into the path of his motorcycle near Baden Baden in 2009.

Mr Booth was in a coma for several weeks and 4 years on has been awarded compensation of £6.1 million to continue his rehabilitation including learning to walk again.

Prior to the accident, Mr Booth had a successful career at IBM and was a keen sportsman who undertook most activities including running the London marathon.

That has all changed and it is likely that he will never be able to return to work again.

Since the accident, Mr Booth has had intensive rehabilitation which has helped him to improve his speech and re-learn how to walk.

Kim Smerdon, Specialist Motorcyclist Solicitor says:

“Securing these funds to ensure that Mr Booth continues to get the support and rehabilitation that he needs to make further improvements and enhance the quality of his life”.

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The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

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