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Beijing gold medallist may be forced to sell house to fulfill aim of competing at Rio in four years' time...

Simon Richardson, winner of two Paralympic cycling gold medals in Beijing whose dream of defending his titles in London this summer ended when he suffered serious injuries after being hit by van driver Edward Adams, has said that he needs to raise £36,000 to pay for an operation after the motorist’s insurance company refused to foot the bill.

Last month, Adams, a farmer was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment for dangerous driving, with three months added for failure to stop at the scene of the incident, which happened near Bridgend in August 2011. He was also given a three-month concurrent sentence for driving with excess alcohol.


Richardson's bike was broken into three parts by the impact

Richardson suffered multiple injuries including fractures of the spine and a broken pelvis and breast bone, and following Adams’ sentencing last month said: "I have some significant health issues to still overcome following the collision, including further back surgery and long term recovery where my complete effort must be.

"I fully intend to battle my way back to elite competitive sport when I am fully recuperated.”

However, his hopes of getting fit again to start training for Rio 2016 have been dealt a blow by this morning’s news, revealed by Richardson on Twitter, that Adams’ insurance company would not be paying for his treatment.

“All I want to say is thank you to all my friends and followers,” Richardson told road.cc.

“We are not giving up, we are taking the insurance company to court to try and get money for the operation and Leigh Day [his solicitors] will fight it all the way.”

Although Richardson could potentially have the operation done on the NHS, that would mean him remaining in pain for at least a year before the surgery could be carried out, and would be unlikely to give him enough time to complete his rehabilitation in time to get training for the next Paralympics.

“I cannot wait for the NHS,” he said, although he added that he appreciated it was not their fault.

If the action against Adams’ insurers is unsuccessful, he says that he may have to take the extreme measure of selling his house to raise the £36,000 needed for the operation.

“Otherwise, forget Rio,” he added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

43 comments

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antonio [1125 posts] 3 years ago
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This is appalling, insurers putting the boot in.

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southstar [11 posts] 3 years ago
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Wow, what scumbags, don't let them get away with this, they are duty bound surely, shame them and they will cave in.

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notfastenough [3695 posts] 3 years ago
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So I presume that the berk's insurance company are refusing on the basis that the op will be completed by the NHS therefore there are no costs to pay, despite the expected 12-month wait. I certainly wouldn't accept being in pain for another year just because of someone else's actions.

1. Wouldn't be at all surprised for this to go viral/national media, at which point £36k is going to seem a small amount of cash to avoid the sh*tstorm of negative PR that is coming their way.

2. If that doesn't work, I reckon £36k will be easily surpassed in donations if needs be.

Good luck Simon.

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 3 years ago
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If he cannot the get insurance company to pay - at the end of the day, he CAN get the op in the NHS free of charge, isn't that why we are fighting off the Tories? - can he sue the driver for loss of earnings and get the money that way? That driver screwed up his career!

Just asking the experts here. Anybody work in insurance?

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

1. Wouldn't be at all surprised for this to go viral/national media, at which point £36k is going to seem a small amount of cash to avoid the sh*tstorm of negative PR that is coming their way.

The problem with that is - unless I'm being blind - the Insurance company is not named

No name - no PR disaster

I can't get to twitter from work - is it mentioned there?

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OldRidgeback [2624 posts] 3 years ago
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This is an appalling case. Leaving the victim of an accident in pain for 1-2 years until NHS treatment can be scheduled is not acceptable for anyone, paralymic cyclist or not. The fact that this athlete will probably miss the next paralympics as a result is even worse. The insurance company should be named and shamed.

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Darthshearer [134 posts] 3 years ago
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What a joke the legal system is in our country.

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nowasps [434 posts] 3 years ago
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Somebody must know who the insurers are. Or is there a reason they cannot be identified?

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qwerky [184 posts] 3 years ago
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I can imagine him raising the money through a fundraising campaign, but simply naming the insurance company would achieve the results quicker. Reading Simon's twitter he obviously knows the insurance comany but won't name it. Reading between the lines I guess his lawyers have advised him not to. He says "just remember, he's a farmer" so I guess it could be NFU (National Farmers Union) but this is pure speculation. If they aren't the insurer in question I guess it would be in their interests to distance themselves from such speculation.

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SevenHills [206 posts] 3 years ago
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Identify the insurers and we can all ensure that we boycott them and not put any business their way, although most of these scumbags are the same. Happily take your money but don't even think of making a legitimate claim.

Funny that they insist on paying out for dubious whiplash claims so sending everyone's premiums up but where there is an obvious issue and a need for this medical claim to be settled they refuse on the grounds that it is fine for someone to be in pain for a year and it will get sorted at no cost to them.  14

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AWPeleton [3347 posts] 3 years ago
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F'ing scumbags. Someone somewhere must know who his insurers are.  14

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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absolutely disgusting, they MUST be identified to get justice .....

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notfastenough [3695 posts] 3 years ago
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mad_scot_rider wrote:
notfastenough wrote:

1. Wouldn't be at all surprised for this to go viral/national media, at which point £36k is going to seem a small amount of cash to avoid the sh*tstorm of negative PR that is coming their way.

The problem with that is - unless I'm being blind - the Insurance company is not named

No name - no PR disaster

I can't get to twitter from work - is it mentioned there?

I don't think that's going to hold forever.

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A V Lowe [576 posts] 3 years ago
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I can see a detail which could be causing this problem. Because the driver was DUI his insurer will say that the policy is void, and paying out could set a precedent for giving cover to any idiot who drives without insurance through voiding their contract with their insurer.

The compensation should thus be sought from the MIB (the source of payments for those injuries and losses through crashes with uninsured drivers) This would balance the value of 2 years of pain and loss of the ability to train back to fitness, against the cost of paying for the operation now.

The figure of £36,000 seems about right for this, if not a little low?

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Sudor [188 posts] 3 years ago
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This is another insulting travesty of justice for victims common in the UK as insurance companies spend their cash exploring every squalid trick to avoid doing right for the victims of incidents like this rather than using it to put things right.

Lets hope that the insurers are named so we can take our business elsewhere .

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BigDummy [314 posts] 3 years ago
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Hold on. If you get run over by a drunk, their insurance is invalid and you're screwed. Is that really right?

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Travis [19 posts] 3 years ago
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Although I agree that this is just insult on top of injury.
I can see what A V Lowe is on about.
If you are drunk at the time of accident, that usually breaks your agreement with the insures.
And, as London Calling says, it's the drivers fault, so sue him instead.

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BigDummy [314 posts] 3 years ago
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Trouble being, we make people have insurance to cover this stuff ebcause the majority of people don't have £36,000.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Make the drunk farmer sell his house/ farm to pay for it.

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Simon_MacMichael [2456 posts] 3 years ago
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nowasps wrote:

Somebody must know who the insurers are. Or is there a reason they cannot be identified?

A couple of people on Twitter have asked Simon Richardson who the insurers are. He replied that he was not in a position to identify them himself, but added that they insure a lot of farmers which certainly narrows it down.

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Waggo [2 posts] 3 years ago
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Even if the policy had a clause that excluded cover in the result of a DUI, the Insurer cannot escape their liability to any third party. They will have to deal with the claim (it is their obligation under the RTA to do so) and look to make a recovery of the costs against their policyholder - although the potential in this would suggest that a successful recovery is going to be unlikely.

Would probably be fair to assess all the medical evidence available before they are pronounced scumbags or named and shamed though....
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kitkat [374 posts] 3 years ago
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So going on what's above, let's see if I have this right: You are covered by your insurance for whatever activities it is taken against. If you invalidate that insurance then the contract is void and you have to foot the bill. In that case the farmer should be approached for the money.

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dullard [140 posts] 3 years ago
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If Richardson is suffering and clearly requires major surgery, why does it take a year to get it scheduled on the NHS? Maybe I'm being naive, but what has more than a trillion quid on the NHS in the last couple of decades got us if it hasn't been quicker treatment? Machines that go ping and lots of administrators? Ah, think I've answered my own question.

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jackh [121 posts] 3 years ago
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Surely the farmer has some assets that Mr. Richardson or the insurer can go after?

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The _Kaner [801 posts] 3 years ago
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If it is the same in UK as over here in Ireland then a DUI driver's insurance will not pay out - that's when the (equivalent) MIB pay out. But if it is like here...it can be up to 2 years before that money will be seen...so it's a catch 22 situation. I'm guessing if he pursued the driver...he'd probably get nowhere either...
Not a very nice situation for anyone to be in.
It begs the question, what good is insurance (in quite a lot of cases)???

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Animal [41 posts] 3 years ago
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Leigh Day are good. They'll sort the carter-fuckers out!

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davemhart [42 posts] 3 years ago
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Think farmer for insurance company  3

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NeilXDavis [122 posts] 3 years ago
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Whats the point in having the blooming insurance if they arent going to cover this!...they need to be NAMED!

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Simon E [2743 posts] 3 years ago
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Take away the emotive aspect and unfortunately it's only an insurance company's lawyers doing what lawyers are paid large sums of money to do. Simon is just one of many who suffer as a result of a collision and do not every get treated fairly.

The farmer won't have any money. They never do, it's a fundamental practice they are taught from a very young age - put it back into the business so the evil taxman doesn't get it (yet who pays for roads, electricity, mains sewage etc to their remote properties, for village schools etc). Which is why they have such low net income levels yet have massive sheds full of tractors, trailers, combines, diggers, quads etc. And why they wait for the threatening court letter before reluctantly paying bills and reply to official letters with illegible, spidery handwriting on a piece of old scrap paper in an old envelope resealed with sellotape and, to cap it all, insufficient postage. And no, I'm not exaggerating.

@dullard it's not just pings and pen-pushers and our modern lifestyles but drugs that are sucking huge amounts of money out of the NHS. It is screwed royally by pharmaceutical companies.

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Marin no 8 [1 post] 3 years ago
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Think I know who the insurer is but I shall get it confirmed tomorrow then cancel all my policies. Which will be a shame as I've been with them for quite sometime.

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