Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team recently secured damages for a cyclist badly injured as a result of another cyclist’s negligence. The claimant, an experienced cyclist, had been out on his road bike when another cyclist coming in the opposite direction went into a corner on the wrong side of the road, colliding with a car which was correctly proceeding in its lane.
The cyclist at fault was not severely injured but, as a result of the collision, was thrown into the path of the claimant, knocking him off his bike onto the road. The claimant suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis and an exacerbation of underlying degenerative change in his hip. He required surgical fixation of his pelvis and will need a hip replacement in the near future, much earlier than would otherwise be the case.
He was unable to work for several months and developed depression as a result of his physical condition, pain and limitations. He went from being very active to being extremely restricted physically and he had to stop doing many of the activities he enjoyed. Given the severity of his injuries, he was keen to use specialist lawyers rather than the panel solicitors suggested by his insurer and, after speaking with several firms, he instructed Penningtons Manches to conduct his claim.
The defendant cyclist’s insurer was slow to respond but liability for the accident was eventually admitted. Medical experts were instructed to report on the claimant’s orthopaedic injuries and psychiatric condition. As his orthopaedic injuries were slow to heal, the expert recommended further evidence once his injuries had healed sufficiently to give a final prognosis.
Following further medical assessments, and after an additional course of psychiatric treatment as recommended by our experts, final expert evidence was obtained and negotiations were entered into with the defendant insurer. In addition to the claim on behalf of the claimant, there were subrogated claims on the part of the claimant’s employer and private health insurer. Following negotiations, a substantial settlement was reached without the need for court proceedings.
Philippa Luscombe, partner in the personal injury team to whom the claimant was originally recommended, said: “This was a sad case where the reckless actions of a cyclist caused our client to suffer severe and long lasting injuries that have permanently affected his quality of life. The defendant cyclist was lucky that he himself did not suffer serious injury but the fact that he escaped with minor injuries when our client has been left with permanent problems has been hard for our client to deal with. This is a case where, although financial losses have been recovered in full, sums recovered for our client’s injury cannot compensate for the accident’s impact on his life.”