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Road traffic accident client

Catherine’s story

A nurse, who suffered life-changing injuries after being run over by a bus, has received a significant compensation settlement thanks to the support of Thompsons Solicitors.

Catherine Johnson, a 45-year-old Macmillan oncology nurse from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, sustained multiple fractures while cycling along Churchill Avenue in Aylesbury to her son’s school sports day on 1 July 2019.

The accident occurred while she was riding her bike across a roundabout. A bus, owned and operated by Arriva, failed to see her, and subsequently drove into her.

The collision caused her to be dragged underneath the bus for approximately 10 metres, before coming to a stop. Having sustained serious injuries, she was taken by air ambulance to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where she remained for six weeks.

The married mum-of-three suffered multiple orthopaedic injuries including hip, heel and rib fractures, soft tissue injuries to her abdomen, shoulder and groin, and psychological injuries.

Mrs Johnson, who, at the time of the incident worked as a part-time chemotherapy nurse, was forced off work for 12 months due to the collision.

The severity of her injuries means there is a risk that she may need to undergo an amputation of her left leg in the future.

She turned to national law firm Thompsons Solicitors to make a compensation claim. After a series of negotiations, the firm secured an out-of-court settlement on a provisional damages basis, giving her the right to return to court to seek further compensation, should she undergo an amputation.

Thompsons was able to secure early interim payments to aid Mrs Johnson’s recovery and rehabilitation. She was able to access intensive private physiotherapy for around 12 months following her accident, as well as CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy), as part of her rehabilitation programme.

In 2022, she moved into a new role as a Macmillan oncology nurse– a role she had wanted to move into for some time.

Mrs Johnson said: “The hardest part was the year at home before I could return to work. It was a very chaotic time. I was in a wheelchair, which meant I had to move my bed downstairs, and was heavily reliant on others to help me with various tasks.

“Thankfully, I had my husband and good friends that would often volunteer to cook meals for me and my family. I’ve recovered enough to participate in spin classes - which I really enjoy - but it’s been incredibly frustrating not being able to go out cycling back on the roads due to ongoing anxiety.

“I’d like to thank Thompsons for providing such an excellent service. My solicitor, Kam, and his colleagues, were not only very professional, but kind, understanding and compassionate, which I really appreciated.”

The bus driver who crashed into Mrs Johnson was fined and given nine points on his licence for driving without due care and attention.

Kam Singh, senior lawyer in Thompsons’ serious injuries team, said: "Catherine is very lucky to be still alive. This traumatic incident occurred as a result of the bus driver’s negligence.

“The passengers on the bus were shouting at the driver to stop as he was oblivious to the fact that he had struck Catherine and dragged her under the bus for 10 metres before stopping.

“Nothing can ever fully repair the damage caused to her life, but we are pleased that we were able to secure this compensation settlement. It hopefully helps to provide some closure and allows Catherine and her family to move on positively with their lives, after what has been such an incredibly distressing time for all involved.”