Legal advice: claim for the cost of not riding

By Chris Dabbs -

Riding Skills

 20 October 2010 15:30

A bike crash is traumatic enough, but if the psychological damage from it means you can’t get back in the saddle again, how do you quantify the cost?

Will Faith from Hampshire was sideswiped by a bus two years ago, receiving multiple fractures and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His physical injuries healed, but now he’s too scared to get back on a bike and he’s using a car instead.

“This is costing me far more in terms of petrol, insurance, tax and of course I had to buy the car as well. I am only 30 years old so over my lifetime this is going to cost me a huge amount of money.” He said. 

As it’s only two years since his prang his personal injury claim against the bus company is still ongoing. In which case he can get his solicitors to send him to a clinical psychologist. He/she will be able to determine whether or not he is suffering from a phobic anxiety disorder relating to the fear of returning to motorcycling.

That expert will also be able to provide an opinion as to whether or not Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) would be of assistance. If CBT is recommended, then to comply with Will’s duty to mitigate his loss (keep to a reasonable minimum) he should try the suggested treatment. If the expert feels CBT will not help or if Will tries it and it does not help then he should claim for the increased costs of having to run a car as opposed to a bike for the future. This can run to many thousands of pounds.

If Will’s claim has concluded and his solicitors did not take account of this element of the claim then he could look at a professional negligence claim against them for the lost chance of succeeding with this element of the claim and claim those damages from the firm.

Sadly, many firms forget to claim this valid head of loss.