Personal injury specialist Becci Ashfield is to combine her legal expertise and passion for all things motorbikes to spearhead an awareness campaign this summer at Hudgell Solicitors.
Ms Ashfield, who has worked at the firm for 14 years, has been around motorcycles all her life, but her love for all things two wheels took off in 2017 when she started volunteering with the Talan Racing team, which is made up of two paraplegic riders competing against able-bodied bikers.
The 47-year-old, who lives in Thrapston, near Kettering, Northamptonshire, has worked for law firms since starting as an office junior at 16 and is a legal executive in the firm’s personal injury department.
With temperatures on the rise and traffic levels almost back to pre-pandemic levels, Hudgell Solicitors has launched a campaign to raise awareness of what to do if riders are injured as a result of a motorbike accident in the UK or Europe – with Ms Ashfield fronting the campaign using her passion for helping people both on and off the track.
“I am really keen to combine my love for my race team and my job in a way that can be mutually beneficial,” she said.
“I have always had a passion for helping people. Had I not become a lawyer I would have gone into some form of helping or caring role.
“My passion for helping bikers specifically came after I met the riders at Talan Racing as a guest at an event at Cadwell Park in September 2017. The team consists of two paraplegic riders, Talan and Andy, both of whom race competitively against able-bodied riders.
“Having seen first-hand what they were able to achieve, given their considerable disabilities, I was inspired by them and inspired to help in whatever way I could. I began working with the team the following season and three years later I am still with them.
“Having seen what they can achieve, I want to show other people with catastrophic injuries – whether caused from bike accidents or not – what can be achieved and that life does not have to come to an end.
“If you ever needed proof that there is still life after paralysis, these two are very much that proof. For injured bikers and non-bikers alike, these are two incredible, inspiring guys.”
Talan Racing, which races in the British Motorcycle Racing Club, or Bemsee, is made up of team founder Talan Skeels-Piggins and Andy Houghton, both of whom were left with life-changing disabilities after serious motorcycle accidents.
Three years spent helping the team at race weekends, coupled with years helping clients affected by motorbike accidents, has left Ms Ashfield well placed to guide people unsure what to do after suffering an injury on a motorcycle.
Not all injuries result in life-changing disabilities and she has secured damages for many riders who have been knocked off their motorbikes and left with injuries such as dislocated shoulders; compound fractures requiring pins and plates to be inserted; fractured ribs, pelvis and ankles; dislocated fingers; whiplash; and soft-tissue injuries.
“As the weather warms up and people venture out more after a year of Covid restrictions, it is a great time to raise awareness,” added Ms Ashfield, who has written a series of informative motorbike-based blogs for Hudgell Solicitors in the past four years.
“Biker injuries are often very different to driver injuries since you have no protection from that metal box around you.
“You will be thrown from your machine and if you are lucky you will bounce down the road. If you are less lucky you will hit trees, lamp posts, walls or cars.”
Ms Ashfield will work alongside the firm’s expert travel team on the three-month campaign, which will involve a series of articles to highlight accident hotspots around the UK and Europe and what to do in the unfortunate event of a motorbike accident in this country or Europe as travel routes abroad start to open up.
Rachel Di Clemente, chief executive of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “As the summer holiday period approaches, I am grateful to Becci and our travel team as they work together to ensure that motorcyclists have the best possible information to stay safe and get the help they need in the event of an accident, wherever they choose to travel this year.
“We are delighted to be able to use Becci’s passion for motorbikes to raise awareness around motorcycle accidents during the summer months.”