Simon Richardson seeks unlimited damages from the drunk driver who destroyed his London 2012 dream

He's also campaigning to name and shame those who drink and drive

by Sarah Barth   December 2, 2012  

Simon Richardson's broken bike

The Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson is to sue the drunk driver who knocked him down on a training ride, destroying his life and his dreams for London 2012.

Edward Howell Adams, a farmer ran him down on the A48 near Bridgend in August 2011, leaving him in hospital for a month and still using a wheelchair and on bed rest. He has lodged a complaint for unlimited damages against Adams and his insurers at the High Court.

Adams, 60, was jailed for 18 months and handed a five year ban from driving when he was convicted of dangerous driving and of failing to stop.

He had been drinking the night before the crash, and had another whisky at 6am on the day of the collision. When arrested after midday, a breathalyser proved he was twice the legal limit, BBC News reported.

On his Twitter feed, Richardson wrote: "it could have been worse should have died. Struggling with PTSD and Delirium more than pain as painkillers help that."

He gave an insight into how far his life had changed from his usual activity when he wrote:

"There is a limit to how much tv you can watch lol and after 1&1/2 yrs in bed it becomes a blur lol ☺

"Another exciting day resting in bed looking out of window. What will tomorrow bring I will put money on it being the same.

"It started off in bed for 5 months then aloud out for short times but as things got worse end up in bed again. Just had back re built so bed rest with special physios and carers then stoke mandaville for 3 months in feb and go from there."

He will go to Stoke Mandeville Hospital for three months in February for intense physiotherapy.

He is currently campaigning for the naming and shaming of drunk drivers, even putting their faces on the back of buses.

14 user comments

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I was just about to say, I had a touching conversation with him this morning, But I see its my conversation that you've quoted Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9039 posts]
2nd December 2012 - 14:40

2 Likes

Good luck to him.
I hope he takes the scumbag to the cleaners.

posted by Some Fella [820 posts]
2nd December 2012 - 14:49

1 Like

It is, of course, his insurers who will eventually get the bill. Although a couple of things spring to mind:
As the man was drunk, and has been jailed for driving offences, will his insurance be valid?
If the insurers refuse to play and look to shift blame, has the man got the resources to pay "unlimited damages", because if he hasn't, and the insurers can walk away, then it's going to be a grim lookout for victims.
One thing I hope for certain, he will be uninsurable from now on. The vehicle should be sold and proceeds given to the victim as an interim payment.

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
2nd December 2012 - 17:53

1 Like

If more victims of bad driving were to sue those responsible, this would make more of the guilty parties unisurable and force them off the roads. That would be no bad thing.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
2nd December 2012 - 21:36

1 Like

If 3rd party cover from insurance was invalidated every time a driver did something illegal, it would be pretty pointless having insurance.

3rd party cover remains intact, though the insurance company can try to reclaim anything it pays out to the cyclist from the driver.

posted by ribena [147 posts]
2nd December 2012 - 23:13

2 Likes

I really hope he gets his damages, however every single penny will never be enough.

Simon is an inspiration to victims of road traffic collisions - he helped my wife in the early days of her recovery, even going so far as to giving her his telephone number for a chat. They chatted for a while on the Sunday night before his most recent operation - about his fears of possible outcomes (which thankfully weren't realised). He really helped her at a low point and for that I hope one day to buy him a pint of Cwrw.

If you read this Simon - thank you very much - Diolch yn fawr.

charlie bravo's picture

posted by charlie bravo [51 posts]
2nd December 2012 - 23:37

4 Likes

Not certain that a driver becoming uninsurable will keep them off the roads. Plenty of uninsured bad drivers out there.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 12:00

2 Likes

cat1commuter wrote:
Not certain that a driver becoming uninsurable will keep them off the roads. Plenty of uninsured bad drivers out there.

This is very true, so then make the punishment for being uninsured heavier than it is. A minimum term in prison, followed by a lengthy ban and impose a large fine.

Until it becomes a massive risk to drive uninsured, a certain section of society will still do it

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9039 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 12:05

3 Likes

This is standard pactise isnt it? As non-insured traffic, we have to personally sue to recover costs as we dont have acting insurers, thats why there are accident solicitors.

As the drivers has been found guilty and charged, they will look to settle fairly quickly Id assume, to reduce their costs.

Will we all benefit from this...not really, I dont think its about that. I cant see it preventing the driver from ever getting insurance or a licence either, they cant prejedice him based on that, just weight his insurance and if he wants it bad enough he will get insurance again...its the licence that should be removed permanently.

I hope Simon rightly wins a settlement worthy of his losses but cant help feeling concern as nothing can replace the medals he wouldve won in all our minds and I can see the insurers leading with this.

Seeing Simon compete in another 4 years, at the best level we know he can, is a prospect I can believe in.

Lets hope my lack of trust in out courts and insurers is misplaced.

posted by Farky [183 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 12:08

1 Like

Farky wrote:

I hope Simon rightly wins a settlement worthy of his losses but cant help feeling concern as nothing can replace the medals he wouldve won in all our minds and I can see the insurers leading with this.

I'm sure, as much as medal's are nice shiny things, He's much rather have his life than those.

Yes he could have gone on to win medals. But as he said to me "it could have been worse should have died." I'm sure he doesn't really give a jot about medals

Here is the full convo I had with him if anyone is interested Wink

https://twitter.com/CyclingSimonMBE/status/275205655294529537

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9039 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 12:50

2 Likes

Good on him - this is the way forward I feel. Sting the pocket and things should start moving 'once' insurance companies get sick of paying out.

Was hit from behind by a driver who was 'in a hurry and you were in my way' - bunny hopped my bike left from under her offside front wheel (I noticed something was wrong when my gears started changing all on their own, was her front wheel change them for me!).

Followed up with police but then took the route of insurance - contacted my bike insurance company and they pursued - what a surprise she became a lot more apologetic and worried once she watched her no-claims vanish and her premium go through the roof.

It's bad this route has to happen but once you hit someone in the 'pocket' so to speak it actually makes them sit up and take notice...which is a worry really as the 'running someone over' should make the difference not the money it's going to cost them!

posted by twist305 [24 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 14:21

1 Like

Pretty shocking story.

Makes me realise how lucky I was. Was t-boned 3 years ago one summers evening on the way back from work in a quiet country village (Rode) by a drunk driver in the middle of his daily pub crawl (by car). Ended up in hospital with minor injuries and spent some time off work. The police caught the guy hiding in a field and he was successfully prosecuted but I but never bothered with suing him. Only cycled to work a handful of times since then - totally scared me off.

Maybe I should revisit this and see what can be done?

Ride For Precious Lives - Annual Cornwall to Bristol charity ride.

posted by graphite [61 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 16:08

1 Like

He should also see if the drunk driver has got Contents insurance for his home and if so, make a claim against the "PUBLIC LIABILITY" section of it. I am a cyclist, but that is the route I had to take, when a cyclist turned across me at a set of traffic lights and caused £1500 worth of damage to my car. It certainly worked for me on that occasion, so maybe the route to take if all else fails

Tommy

posted by highto [17 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 18:19

1 Like

It's the way forward. If people and insurers face unlimited damages the powers that be will have to intervene to protect their pockets...they'll do it of course under the insistence that road safety is their concern to make them look good.

It's a simple and familiar approach. If your proposal is too risky you'll be declined as a total liability.

This does bring up the issue of such people then driving anyway but that's a separate problem and not reason in itself to bar certain people from driving at an earlier stage. Just introduce a mandatory 10 year custodial for wilfully endangering the general public and the message will quickly get across to those who think it's all a laugh.

I hope he takes them to the cleaners and this should be the common approach rather than being dictated to by the insurance industry who have a convenient set of prices laid out as to what you are worth.

It's because of these numbers that insurers don't take lethal driving more seriously. They bring in X millions per year, subtract a carefully controlled damages reduction of Y and as long as they're up each year by substantial amounts who gives a toss what's going on out there?

By removing their control over what Y will be the insurers are on dodgy ground and sad but true it's money that will motivate change, nit any number of campaigns and sobbing families creating e petitions with 500 signatures on.

Good luck to him and faces on buses? Why not?! Name and shame makes people think.

Hating our selfish and ignorant car culture

posted by ironmancole [191 posts]
29th November 2014 - 23:21

0 Likes