Recently The Law Society Gazette published the case of a cyclist in central London who knocked down a pedestrian who had stepped out in front of him. The pedestrian who at the time of the accident was looking at her mobile phone and not paying attention to the oncoming traffic, was hit by the cyclist and sustained injuries.
Cyclist found 50% liable for the injuries and losses suffered
The cyclist who went through a green light and did all that he possibly could to avoid the accident by sounding his bell and breaking suddenly, was found to be 50% liable for the losses suffered by the pedestrian and the injuries caused and now faces bankruptcy from the resulting costs bill.
The lady pedestrian, who issued court proceedings against the cyclist, was awarded £4,161 in damages by the Judge in the Civil Court.
The cyclist has stated that covering the costs and compensation will personally cost him £20,000 and will leave him bankrupt. The claimant has sought almost £100,000 in costs, a sum which will be contested at a future hearing.
Legal representation could have safeguarded the defendant
At the time of preparing his defence, had the cyclist sought legal representation, he could have taken steps to protect himself against the financial loss.
Director Dan Griffiths, from cycling accident injury solicitors Paul Crowley & Co, says depending on the facts of the case, if the cyclist sustained injury or suffered his own loss he could have made a counterclaim against the pedestrian – that way any successful counterclaim could, at the very least, be offset against the amount he was ordered to pay to the pedestrian. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I would advise anyone who find themselves in the midst of court proceedings to seek legal advice rather than trying to navigate the court process without representation.
Dan says: ‘This cyclist had his own injuries and losses but he was not aware of the serious financial consequences of failing to put forward his own counterclaim at the appropriate stage’.
Personal Injury solicitor
Cyclists in the UK are considered a vulnerable road user
Due to the lack of cycle lanes on roads across the country, cyclists have no option in most towns and cities other than to share the road with motor vehicles, other cyclists and pedestrians. The road can be a dangerous place at the best of times and for obvious reasons cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are all considered to be the most vulnerable people on UK roads.
Safety is a real issue of concern for all road users, particularly cyclists with drivers often passing them too closely or too quickly and sometimes not seeing them at all. This occurs on a regular basis when motorists are turning on or off a road and do not pay due care and attention or give way to the cyclist.
No Win No Fee Cycling Accident Compensation Claims
Have you or someone you know experienced an accident on the road which has left you suffering injury or financial loss as a consequence? If so, you could be entitled to compensation.
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