National Road Victim Month: What Is It All About?
National Road Victim Month is the initiative of Road Peace, a leading road accident charity. The aim is to raise awareness and to try and improve the safety of our roads.
Road Peace has observed that since 1998, the number of deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s roads increases every August.
This might be because there is more traffic around as people are on holiday or they’re heading to airports and holiday destinations, they’re stressed or more distracted than normal or travelling on unfamiliar roads. No matter the reason, the importance of proper road safety cannot be underestimated.
As a personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen first hand the devastating impact of accidents on families. It might be the loss of a loved one, or the struggle of a client with a life-changing injury to adjust to their ‘new normal’.
For my clients, many of these collisions could have been avoided if the drivers who caused them had done just one thing differently. Whether it is just slowing down, paying more attention or having a properly maintained car – it all makes a huge difference.
To show the true extent of such incidents, one of our clients has shared his story.
Alex’s Story: A Collision Between Motorbike and London Bus
“My name is Alex. In August 2015, I was driving my motorcycle through sunny Fulham when a bus, turning right, did not see me and pulled into my path.
“I was fortunate to only clip the bus with my right knee and my bike and I landed on the pavement. If I had decelerated into the front of the bus, I would certainly not be writing this today.
“The resulting collision left me lying on the pavement with a shattered knee and femur.
“St Mary’s Hospital was my home for the next 22 days. A small fracture to my hip and extensive scarring needed no further treatment, but I did require surgery to fix my fractured femur, which went well. Two weeks later there was the excruciating wire banding of my shattered patella.
“This double whammy of fractures meant that my leg needed to be in a fixed brace for a couple of weeks before a slow increment of flexion. This gave the patella time to heal, but stiffness and scarring did occur because aggressive physiotherapy was not followed in the early stages.
“When you are lying in bed having been prescribed various opiates, physiotherapy is the last thing on your mind. I could not even think about performing the important exercises, let alone begin to establish who was responsible for my accident.
“Fortunately, a phone call from my insurance company at week six informed me that 100% of liability had been accepted by the bus company. A wave of emotion came over me as, naturally, we blame ourselves.
“With a legal team on my side, my recovery and rehabilitation were the main priority. They had access to specialist providers who were able to assess my needs and could put private treatment in place, without being subject to the NHS waiting times.
“The private physiotherapists were able to provide intensive input to break down the scar tissue and build up my wasted muscles. This was vitally important to my long-term recovery.
“With my knee becoming stiffer, worry began to set in. Frantic searches for second and third medical opinions followed. What I know now is that it just needed time and for me to follow the exercises. If I had been given the chance to speak to someone who had had a similar pattern of injury, then they could have given me the impartial advice I needed in the early stage about physio and how the results will come with time.
“At nine months, I could stop using a walking stick and I returned to part-time work humbled to the fact that some of my chronic pain and knee stiffness would be permanent.
“At this point, my legal case really began with varying appointments to establish the full-extent of my injuries and to assess the compensation I would be awarded. I however, by this stage, wanted nothing more than to be able to move on with my life.
“Four years later, my legal case has now concluded, but I am still left with the injuries caused by the accident and these will continue to affect me for the rest of my life.”
Are You a Victim of a Road Accident?
If you, or someone you love, has been injured and believe a road accident claim could be made, please get in touch with our friendly personal injury solicitors.
You can also get involved with raising awareness of the charitable period by joining the conversation on social media using #NationalRoadVictimsMonth.