Cyclist receives compensation following brain injury

Chris Wheatley. EMN-170512-170352001
Chris Wheatley. EMN-170512-170352001

A cyclist from Billingborough who suffered a brain injury from a road collision leaving him unable to work has been awarded a six-figure sum.

IT worker Chris Wheatley was cycling the 18-mile route from Bourne to his workplace in Peterborough with a friend when he was involved in a collision at a crossroads.

The collision, which happened in September 2013, left him with severe leg and back injuries but it was only this year that his brain injury was diagnosed after his behaviour became increasingly erratic and he was forced to stop working.

Medical law experts from Langleys Solicitors in Lincoln scrutinised his case and alleged that the accident had caused the brain injury. He reached an out-of-court settlement with the insurer representing the driver who was in collision with him.

Chris, who is now 37, is determined to get back to the job he loved.

“I lost everything. I miss work terribly. When I went back to work I just couldn’t manage the job. What I didn’t know at the time was that a brain injury had changed me,” he said.

“I am always walking into a room and then forgetting why I am there. I have issues with confrontation. An argument quickly turns into rage. I often struggle to find the words that I need to maintain a normal conversation.”

Chris, who lives with his partner Jo in Billingborough, has little memory of the accident itself, which happened at the cross-roads of King Street and the A1175 Market Deeping to Stamford road.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital in Peterborough and then transferred to Cambridge. He suffered an open fracture to his leg, which required a three-hour operation to fix a metal rod from knee to ankle and a skin graft.

Following the accident Chris said he suffered memory loss and struggled to perform everyday tasks such as peeling an apple. In February 2017 he saw a neuro-psychologist and Jo got in touch with brain injury charity Headway Lincolnshire.

A scan showed he had a bleed on his frontal lobe.

Jo said: “His condition was deteriorating. His behaviour had become increasingly erratic and he was off sick from work. We were referred to Helen Murphy at Langleys.

“Helen listened to the details of Chris’ case and conducted a thorough investigation. She got him re-assessed by a number of specialists and even visited the scene of the accident herself.”

Chris had initially instructed another firm of solicitors, who told him that he did not have a claim. By the time the case was taken on by Langleys he had just six months left before the three-year deadline for initiating court proceedings.

Chris added: “We were very pleased with the outcome. My advice to anyone in my situation is to persevere and find someone who will give you the support you need.

“I’m hoping to get back to work early next year.”