A horse rider who suffered a serious brain injury in an accident involving a motorbike has won her battle for compensation.
Michaela Devereux, 43, was riding her horse along a road in the New Forest when the animal became frightened by the noisy exhaust of a fast approaching motorbike. The horse spun around and the motorcyclist lost control of his bike. The horse then bolted, colliding with the motorbike and throwing Mrs Devereux to the ground.
Mrs Devereux, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered a traumatic brain injury. It was so serious that doctors told her husband that she might not survive.
For 18 months, Mrs Devereux had difficulty walking. The accident also altered her personality and caused her to suffer a range of psychological problems, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoia. This meant that she could no longer make a living buying and selling ponies as she had done before the accident and her husband gave up his business in order to care for her.
The Court of Appeal refused the motorcyclist’s insurance company permission to contest the ruling of the lower court that the collision was caused solely by the defendant’s failure to maintain control of his motorbike. The exact amount of the compensation award is yet to be determined, but it could be as much as £500,000.