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Yorkshire biker’s plea to drivers ahead of summer riding season

When Yorkshire biker, Jean, was struck by a car five years ago, she felt almost as devastated at the thought of losing her motorcycle as she was at the news that she had lost part of her left leg after having an above-the-knee amputation. The now 49-year-old saw her Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and the lifestyle that came with it, as a major element in her identity and could not contemplate a life without riding. Jean is now urging other motorists to be more vigilant of motorcycles on the road by supporting Minster Law’s biker awareness campaign.

For legal secretary, Jean, buying a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was the realisation of a long-held dream. She was riding the bike along the A65 in North Yorkshire when she was struck by an oncoming car, which was overtaking a lorry. Jean sustained fractures of both the left femur and left tibia in the accident, which resulted in an above-knee amputation, and her beloved Harley-Davidson was written off.

Despite facing surgery and treatment, the Leeds biker who says she “lives for biking” made the trip to the scrapyard to say a final farewell to her beloved bike. But she remained determined to return to biking and work and set about finding ways to do so.

Using their expertise in motorcycle-related Personal Injury claims, Minster Law appointed a team of specialist lawyers to work on Jean’s case. While the motorbike accident claim was progressing, the team ensured that Jean had access to state-of-the-art prosthetics to aid her mobility and specialists were called on to support Jean’s return to biking by way of a bespoke Harley-Davidson trike.

Motorcycle conversion expert, Joe Davidson of DTB Panther Trikes LTD, Rick Hulse from the National Association for bikers with Disabilities (NABD) and specialist instructor, Dave Williams, have all helped to build her confidence back and to enable Jean to return to what she calls her “way of life”.

Jean Kelly commented: “I hope that supporting this campaign ensures that something positive comes out of my accident. Although it’s been a difficult five years for me, I prefer to focus on the positives and being able to continue riding and attending biker events with my very supportive partner, Graham, means so much to me. I know that many people can’t understand the feelings I had about losing my bike, but that felt as much a part of my identity as the part of my leg that was lost. If this campaign can help to raise enough awareness to prevent even one more motorcycle accident then it will be worthwhile.”

Minster Law Solicitor, Jonathan Bamforth, who led Jean’s case said: “Pretty much every biker that we meet and support is so completely passionate about riding that it’s important that we, as a team, understand that their motorcycle is so much more than a mode of transport. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accident claims that we deal with involve serious injuries and often our clients are unable to return to riding despite the huge amount of support that is provided by organisations like the NABD and companies who provide specialist adaptations to bikes and trikes. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case for Jean and we are delighted to have played a small part in getting her back on the road.”