I have broken my leg both above and below the knee, busted some ribs and now I know how painful whiplash is (actually, worse than the fractures) I won’t be so unsympathetic to people with whiplash.

After a bit of BS about how I was speeding (I wasn’t) the other driver’s insurance have said they will compensate me.

I was expecting a bit of a tussle, but this has surfaced: apparently, my body was falling to pieces, with or without this crash. I left the military with the highest grade of physical fitness so, even in the Army, I was a fit soldier.

I have had some sports injuries in my times but the surgeon instructed by MY solicitor about six months after the accident has said: This pleasant gentleman has unusually advanced degeneration in both of his knees. He is likely to need knee replacement at a relatively young age,” and apparently, this holes my claim.

No long-term loss of earnings, and a small sum for my knee injuries: “because this would have happened anyway”. Is this properly legal or is the law this unfair? I am being told I should settle now for less than my lost earnings because I have “accelerated” a pre-existing Injury.


You are receiving monumentally bad advice from an unqualified person. You did not accelerate any fractures, did you? This clerk has looked at the guidelines and decided you fit into the ‘less serious leg injury’ on the basis of a “discomfort or an exacerbation of a pre-existing disability”. A little learning is a dangerous thing.

You have given me a lot more information than I can put into this piece but what you have is a nasty tib-and-fib fracture (below the knee) and a thighbone fracture. Your knee was battered and the surgeon says the level of the impact has accelerated the need for a knee replacement.

He is a bit vague, basically saying hold out with your knee as long as you can but he is saying a knee replacement for the unaffected knee is about 15 years from now, which is indeed young for a knee replacement. That is this surgeon’s professional opinion and he must give it truthfully.

However, the knee replacement being accelerated is not the core of your claim. Your leg injuries are likely to keep you off work for a year to 18 months. You will need to see how your pretty badly-broken leg copes with a return to work. You may well have needed a knee replacement in 15 years’ time and you probably will need eight to ten weeks off work as you approach 60. You didn’t need 18 months off work now. Nor did your knees put your current role at risk; at least for 15 years or so. Also, you have no idea how your injury will recover six months post-accident.

Why you got an orthopaedic report now is only explained by the fact your solicitors and the medical agency that got paid for the surgeon’s report seem to be very closely linked. You will need a report about two years post-accident and a few months after a return to work. If you cannot get into your cab or you have real discomfort driving, then your case takes on a whole new complexion. Do not rush this. You get one shot at it – make it count.

By the way, apply for your Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. A 43-year-old man should not have knees like yours. You already have a medical report which says “unusually advanced degeneration in both knees” which is sadly typical of soldiers and this will not affect your bike-accident claim.

Andrew Dalton

RiDE Magazine May 2022