Case study: £11,000 settlement for injured cyclist
Our client was cycling down the road when the Defendant, travelling in the opposite direction, turned right across our client’s path and caused a collision. As a result, our client was knocked unconscious. He also dislocated his left shoulder, fractured his left knee and sustained a cut above his eyebrow which left a small scar.
Our client’s leg was protected in a straight leg brace and he was given a sling for his arm. He was admitted to hospital overnight for observations and a CT scan of his head, fortunately, didn’t show anything sinister.
The claim was submitted to the Defendant, however, no response was received in the initial 15 working day period. The Defendant was therefore allowed the full three-month investigation period from their date of acknowledgement to provide their views on liability.
The Defendant then failed to provide their response within this time period and we chased accordingly. A response was received advising that they were awaiting the police report before providing their reply as they alleged our client was cycling in the dark without any lights, reflective clothing or helmet and was, therefore, not visible to their driver.
The Defendant then instructed solicitors who made a Part 36 offer on liability on a 50/50 basis, meaning our client was 50% responsible for the accident, and an offer of £10,000 (meaning our client would receive £5,000 in his hand). We responded with an offer of 80/20 split in our client’s favour, taking into account the fact he was not wearing reflective clothing or helmet, but given that street lights and the car’s headlights were visible, he was there to be seen. Our Personal Injury team then began approaching experts to see if they were able to assist us in preparing the medical report.
A report was obtained which confirmed that his shoulder injury no longer caused him trouble and his knee fracture appeared to have healed well. However, the injury may result in slightly increased risk of developing problems such as osteo-arthritis compared to the normal population. The Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon also confirmed he may never regain full muscle bulk in his thigh.
We then worked out his financial losses, including a loss of profit in our client’s business (he was self-employed). Whilst there was no actual loss compared to the previous year, we calculated the likely trajectory given the previous years of trading and the subsequent years after the accident when he was able to work as he did pre-accident. On the basis of this calculation, we were able to evidence a loss which was recoverable.
We disclosed our evidence to the Defendant and they responded with an offer of £11,000 to include any deductions for contributory negligence, i.e. in his hand. Our client accepted this offer in full and as final settlement of his claim.