Injured rider back on the road thanks to Minster Law
Personal Injury Specialists Minster Law have helped one of their clients get back on the road after an accident with their new 'Back to Biking' programme, which helps riders who struggle emotionally and mentally to return to two wheels after a crash. The initiative is free for Minster Law clients.
Dragos Niculae was involved in a collision with a van in November 2015 and suffered two broken arms. When Minster Law initially contacted him to take part in the programme he declined, but later changed his mind and was all smiles after his supported road ride in Surrey.
"They contacted me two months after the claim finished and I didn't want to hear about it, but I had other things on my mind from my personal life so I wasn't in any kind of mood for it. Then I got another email and I said 'yeah, let's get on with it'," said Dragos. "I don't know how people deal with it stress-wise, but for me I just wanted to see if I could do it again."
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To return to riding on the road, Dragos had to take part in the first two phases of the Back to Biking programme with Minster Law. This first phase involved Dragos speaking with a psychologist who specialises in driver rehabilitation, as well as spending some time on a static motorcycle while wearing a virtual reality headset.
With Dragos happy after his VR experience, it was time for the team at Minster Law to get him back on two wheels, in the form of some slow speed work - similar to what new riders undertake while training for their test. Dragos said: "The second phase was in a closed environment riding the bike for about an hour and I was a bit tense to be honest. I didn't get flashbacks but instead of reacting or having to use your senses it was just following instructions. I was sweating quite a bit!"
Speaking after his supported road ride, Dragos said: "Today was like any kind of training, I just had to get on with what I was told last time. It was really good. It was a good ride and the roads were exactly what I was looking for because I need to have confidence going around bends. We covered all that today so I just need to improve on those things, but it's continuous and I enjoy it. I'm not as good as I used to be but all that will come with experience. Before the accident I'd been riding for five years and you gain a lot of knowledge in that time, so I just need to learn to walk again, really."
Managing Director of Minster Law, Michael Warren, a motorcyclist himself, made the long journey from Yorkshire to Surrey to join Dragos on the ride: "We like to improve lives rather than just settling motorcycles claims and we know from our own experience, and with Dragos as a great example, that it's not just about paying out the money. That's not the end of the story. We often deal with people who struggle psychologically to get back on their bike after an accident. I've crashed on a corner before and I was uninjured, but the mental pressure the next time I came to that bend, or any other right hand bend was huge. It took me a long time to get over it and I can't imagine what it must be like if you actually connect with something else.
"The programme was designed to introduce Dragos back to the road slowly. They briefly took him on the road in the last session and he's been on the road himself before this final session so it's obviously worked for him. From my perspective it was about doing something that was far mor effective for our clients than simply putting our logo on the side of a race bike or something. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. We'll definitely continue the programme."