Cycling Accident True Stories
8 November 2018
TRUE cycling stories
Cyclist injured by car door
Keen Yorkshire cyclist, Mr. S, instructed TRUE Solicitors after being knocked off his bike by a car door.
Mr. S was out riding is BMC road bike with two friends and was cycling though a village with cars parked on his left. He was in front as they passed through the village and was doing about 20mph when suddenly the driver of a parked Mercedes swung open his car door directly into his path.
There was nothing he could do to avoid the collision and the resulting impact with the edge of the car door knocked him off his bike and into the middle of the road. It was a severe impact and although he did not lose consciousness, he felt stunned and shocked, and he knew immediately that his left leg was badly damaged.
He was taken by ambulance to Scarborough Hospital where they diagnosed a fractured left tibia and muscle damage, and where he subsequently underwent an operation to pin and stabilize the fracture.
Mr. S instructed True Solicitors to help him recover compensation for his lost earnings, his injuries, and his damaged bike.
As the vehicle driver did not provide his insurance details at the scene of the accident, we started our investigation by performing a search of the Motor Insurance Database which, somewhat worryingly, indicated the car was not insured. However, further enquires with the police established that the car was displaying unregistered license plates and that the vehicle was in fact insured.
We arranged physiotherapy treatment, obtained medical evidence, and managed to obtain an interim payments to cover the loss of earnings and damaged bike. Following receipt of the medical evidence the case was settled for £25,000 without the need to go court.
*It is an offence to open, or cause or permit to be opened, a car door so as to injure or endanger anyone (section 105, The Roads Vehicles (Constructions and Use) Regulations 1986 and section 42, Road Traffic Act 1988).
Two accidents in 4 years
Committed cyclist, Mr. S, instructed TRUE Solicitors twice in the last 4 years after being knocked off his bike in two separate road accidents.
The first accident occurred when Mr. S was cycling to work on his Ribble – Gran Fondo road bike. He was crossing a traffic light controlled junction when a car that was travelling in the opposite direction turned right across his path and drove into him. It was a nasty accident with Mr. R being thrown onto the car bonnet before striking the windscreen and falling onto the road. He suffered multiple soft tissue injuries, his bike and helmet were destroyed, and his cycling clothes ruined.
TRUE Solicitors agreed to act for Mr. S and quickly obtained an admission of liability from the car driver’s insurance company and an interim payment to cover the full cost of the written-off bike and his personal belongings.
We arranged for Mr. S to be examined by an orthopaedic consultant who prepared a report on the extent of his injuries and thereafter we negotiated an award that included the cost of his medical treatment and full compensation for his injuries.
The second accident was more serious. On that occasion Mr. S was cycling across a large roundabout when a car came onto the roundabout from his left and drove straight into him. Mr. S was thrown from his bike and landed heavily on the road sustaining significant facial injuries and soft tissue injuries to his neck, shoulder and back.
Although we were in no doubt about who caused the accident, it took the driver’s insurance company over 2 months to investigate the accident. During this period we worked with Mr. S to obtain evidence to show that his bike, a Cannondale CAAD 12 road bike, was damaged beyond repair – not that there was much doubt, and evidence to substantiate the replacement cost of his shattered helmet and damaged cycling clothes.
The insurance company eventually agreed their policyholder was entirely at fault and released an interim payment to cover the full cost of a replacement bike, medical expenses and ruined cycle clothes. Meanwhile we arranged for Mr. S to be examined by two medical experts, a Consultant Maxillo-Facial Surgeon to assess the facial injuries, and a General Practitioner to assess the soft tissue injuries.
Following disclosure of the medical evidence we began negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company and were able to obtain a settlement that included full compensation for his injuries and outstanding losses.
Victim of Road Rage
Mr Y was cycling home from work when he became the victim of an apparent road rage incident. Mr. Y was in a cycle lane when a car that was travelling in the same direction tried to run him off the road. The car driver slowed down and pulled alongside Mr Y before turning into him and forcing him into a collision with a parked car.
As a result of the accident Mr. Y sustained a fractured wrist, together with cuts and bruises to his face, arms and legs.
The car driver initially fled the scene of the accident but then returned later and gave his details to the police. The police also took statements from several witnesses who had seen the accident.
Notwithstanding the weight of evidence against the car driver, he denied liability for the accident and alleged he was fully established on the main road and that our client simply drove into him.
TRUE Solicitors had no reason to disbelieve Mr. Y and so set about proving that he was not too blame by contacting the witnesses and obtaining full statements. We also arranged for Mr Y to be examined by an Orthopaedic Consultant so that we could assess the nature and extent of his injuries.
Court proceedings were necessary because the defendant’s insurance company would not put forward a reasonable offer. The case subsequently settled 2 weeks before trial with the defendant’s insurance company admitting their driver was at fault for the accident and paying full compensation for our client’s injuries, loss of earnings and damaged bike.
Cyclist hit by car on wrong side of the road
Welsh cyclist, Mr. W, was knocked of his Trek Domaine road bike whilst out enjoying a Sunday afternoon leisure ride. He was on a country road negotiating a sharp left hand-bend when he was confronted by an on-coming vehicle on his side of the road. He reacted quickly by swerving to the right to avoid a head-on collision but went over the handlebars as he braked to avoid a stone wall.
He landed heavily on the road and sustained a badly broken collar bone and a minor head injury (that he admits would have been much more serious had he not been wearing a helmet) and required hospital treatment and physiotherapy.
Mr. W instructed TRUE Solicitors after his first solicitor was unable to make any progress with the claim. Unbelievably the car driver’s insurance company denied responsibility and alleged Mr. W caused the accident by going too fast and losing control of his bike!
TRUE Solicitors have years of experience dealing with bike accident claims and knew Mr. W was not at fault however the other drivers insurance company continued to deny liability.
We agreed to act and not long after doing so secured an admission of liability together with compensation to cover Mr. W’s injuries, his lost earnings, damaged bike, and replacement helmet and cycle wear.
Cyclist hit by oncoming car turning right across his path
Cyclist hit by oncoming car turning right across his path
Manchester cyclist, Mr P, was out enjoying a Saturday morning bike ride on his Trek Madone when he was involved in an accident. He was riding across a traffic light controlled junction on a green light when a car that was travelling in the opposite direction turned right and drove into him.
Mr P was thrown from his bike and landed heavily on the road suffering soft tissue injuries to his right shoulder, elbow and thigh. The damage to his bike, which included a buckled carbon wheel, damaged derailleur and shifters, and a damaged seat, came to over £1000.
Liability was not contested as the car driver admitted he had not seen Mr P and so we set about obtaining evidence to support his injuries and losses. Soon after providing the insurance company with evidence of the damaged bike, and not more than 5 weeks after the accident, the insurance company made a global offer to settle the claim.
We advised against accepting the offer because he had not been medically examined, however Mr P accepted the offer because it fully compensated him for his losses and he simply wanted to get on with his life.
Cyclist awarded 15 times the amount offered by the insurance company
This case highlights the importance of getting professional legal advice and obtaining proper medical evidence before accepting an insurance company’s offer to settle.
Ms M was out enjoying an evening bike ride with her partner when she was knocked off her Felt Z90 road bike by a car that was being driven by a woman who was driving unsupervised on a provisional driving licence.
The car driver attempted to undertake a car that was stationary in the middle of the road waiting to turn right when she collided with Ms M who was cycling past the stationary car.
Ms M fell to the ground and suffered multiple cuts and bruises to her face, arms and legs, together with soft tissue injuries to her lower back and legs.
Ms M instructed TRUE Solicitors and we notified the driver’s insurance company of our client’s injury claim and arranged for her to be examined by two medical experts; an orthopaedic expert for the soft tissue injuries and a Plastic Surgeon to assess the lacerations and scars on her face and body.
The insurance company quickly admitted liability and paid for the damaged bike and clothes, and made a derisory early offer of £1000 injury compensation. This type of offer is often referred to as a ‘pre-medical offer’ because it is made before the claimant has obtained medical evidence, very often with the intention of settling the claim for less than its full value.
TRUE Solicitors advised Ms M to reject the offer and, after disclosing the medical evidence, settled the injury claim for over £15,000.