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A man from Doncaster has been granted £1.1m in damages after he lost his leg following a carpark accident where he was thrown from his motorbike.
The accident happened at the Ministry of Defence Driver Centre training base near Beverley in Yorkshire where there had been ongoing construction work. The site trains drivers for the Royal Air Force, the Army and the Royal Marines and it also trains employees from the Police and the Fire Service.
As a result of the work in progress the area was in chaos and there was no way of knowing which vehicles had right of way. There was also no safe parking for either employees or visitors. The injured man said that the accident was one which was ‘waiting to happen’ due to the level of disorganisation.
Some drivers had not parked in the designated spaces and when the accident occurred, there was no visibility for either the driver of the car or the motorcyclist.
The MoD has now agreed to pay the victim – who served in the army for 28 years – £935,000 in compensation since he will now need to have his home adapted as a result of his condition, as well as a host of other lifestyle changes. In addition, the man was awarded £165,000 by the insurers of the driver of the vehicle that hit him.
After a five-year legal battle, the MoD has admitted that the accident was their fault and that it was their responsibility to make the safe so that accidents would not happen.
The victim explained that building work at the site had resulted in a car park, which used to house around 200 vehicles, only having the capacity for 50 or 60 and this had caused problems. He said: “I had seen a few near misses in the days before my accident and, due to that, I was taking extra care. I’m an experienced driver and had been driving for 35 years, but it was a ridiculous situation and an accident waiting to happen.”
He said the vehicle that hit him came out of nowhere and ‘clattered’ into his side, but that he remained conscious throughout. He added that he felt lucky to be alive.
The man came out of hospital a week after he had been admitted, the fractures to his leg had been pinned and when he went back to work he began suffering from intense pain in his foot. Medical professionals told him they could not be 100% certain that the pain would go away.
Doctors made attempts to save the man’s leg but he began to suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome which is a condition of the central nervous system considered to be ‘chronic’. It results in intense pain caused by the slightest touch to an affected part of the body and can affect the legs, hands, arms and feet following an injury or trauma to that area.
The pain continued and he could not sleep at night or stand up for any length of time. His leg turned blue and felt cold constantly, and he was also experiencing spasms down his left side. He said that the only way he could get around the house was to shuffle across the floor. He eventually decided that he wanted to have his leg amputated in order to prevent the pain.
The victim underwent the operation to remove his leg below the knee in January 2013 but, despite this, the pain continued and he began suffering Phantom Limb Sensory Hallucinations; a rare condition which can often be poorly understood. It is caused by a limb amputation and results in pain and sensation in a limb which is no longer there. Pain can be shooting or burning and create a ‘pins and needles’ effect.
The victim found he could only walk for 20 minutes with his new prosthetic limb.
He said the feeling was surreal and that he still gets pain in his ‘toes’ now, even though there is no limb there. He said he had a great life and a job he loved before the accident but all that has been taken away from him.
He also said that he was very active before the accident and that the situation has devastated him. He said that it has not just been his life that has been affected, adding that he is now dependent on his partner, while his partner’s daughter has postponed going to university so that she can help out.
The former driving instructor says he will now use his compensation money to move to a single-storey home where he will be able to move around more easily and enjoy a better quality of life.
Published on 30th April 2016.