At the age of 63 years young, she picked up her first bike being a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. Basically she wanted it for pootling around town and a little blast out to the seaside on a sunny day.

Now, whilst she is not one to hark on about it, she was born with only one full hand. The other hand only has a small finger and part of a thumb (my kids used to call her Sebastian when they were younger! ‘Under the sea…’ ha-ha). Despite her disability, her life has been pretty normal, i.e., job, husband, kids, etc. and her Sebastian hand has never held her back… until now.

Long story short, she was riding home when a car coming from the opposite direction turned right in front of her. The result was her smashing into the side of the car and she degloved her ‘full’ forefinger and shattered her elbow on her ‘full’ side. She has since had plastic surgery to the finger and there are further planned operations to the elbow. She is only six weeks post-accident and unsurprisingly she is heavily dependent on me to help with everything.

As a woman with only one full hand, that is now injured, not to mention the smashed elbow, the effects are obviously worse for her as she only has the ‘Sebastian’ hand to use. However, her solicitor doesn’t seem to appreciate that and told her to settle this claim for £10,000. My wife is not even back at work yet.

Does having a partial hand make any difference to the amount of compensation she should get? Or do all people get treated the same so there is no ‘discrimination’? Her solicitor stated that to us in the first meeting. However, as a layman that just doesn’t ring true.


There is no way your wife should be settling this claim yet and any solicitor who suggests otherwise needs to give their head a wobble.

The accident was only a few weeks ago and your wife only gets one chance to settle her claim. She cannot come back for further compensation at a later date, i.e. for treatment costs, etc.

If her solicitor told her that all people are ‘treated the same’ they are just plain wrong. The old phrase is you ‘take your victim as you find them’. So, if your wife only has one full hand and has injured that and the elbow on her ‘full’ side, she will need compensation for her particular losses.

To state the obvious, this will likely be very different to a woman with both ‘full’ hands to rely upon. For example, if she cannot hold a kettle, wash herself, cook, etc., with just her ‘Sebastian’ hand (that did make me chuckle) to rely upon, it’s clear she will need more care and assistance post-accident than someone who has a ‘full’ hand to rely upon whilst the other side is injured.

As for the future, it is too soon to know how this injury will affect her life. My advice is your wife should not settle yet; do some research and get a solicitor who is used to dealing with complex orthopaedic injuries. She shouldn’t risk her current solicitor prejudicing her position. They sound about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Andrew Prendergast

More Bikes August 2023