Case study: £72,500 for cyclist collision on roundabout
Our personal injury solicitors recently helped a client claim compensation for injuries he suffered as the result of a cycling accident.
Circumstances of the accident
Our client, Mr N, was cycling around a roundabout in Bristol, he was established on the roundabout and intended to take the second exit. As he was passing the first exit, the Defendant merged onto the roundabout when it was unsafe to do so, failed to brake when approaching, and drove straight into our client.
The impact was to our client’s left-hand side and, as a result of the collision, he was thrown forward onto the middle of the roundabout. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
The extent of injuries sustained
Mr N sustained the following injuries as a result of the accident:
- A crush injury to his right index finger
- A traumatic amputation to the top half of his right index finger
- Shoulder and chest wall injuries
- Soft tissue injuries to his left hip and legs
- General bruising
- Rotator cuff tear
- Psychological injury
Mr N is self-employed and had to take time off as a result.
Submitting a claim for compensation
Our expert personal injury solicitors obtained details of the accident from our client before drafting the Letter of Claim. This was sent to the Defendant’s insurers and liability was subsequently admitted by the Defendant.
We proceeded to obtain copies of Mr N’s medical records and spoke to him about his ongoing treatment needs. He informed us that he was still struggling psychologically, so we arranged Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) on his behalf with a CBT provider we have a relationship with. The cost of this treatment would be covered by the settlement.
Whilst we waited to receive our client’s medical records, the Defendant made an offer of settlement in the sum of £35,000. At the time, we were unable to advise Mr N on whether this was a good offer as we did not have medical evidence to enable us to value the claim, so there was a risk that he could be under-settling his claim by accepting.
Our client decided to wait for the medical evidence before accepting any offers, especially as he was still experiencing ongoing difficulties and limitations.
Medical and psychiatric reports
In support of our client’s claim, medical evidence was obtained from a Clinical Psychologist, a Hand Specialist and a General Orthopaedic Surgeon. The expert Psychologist we instructed reported that Mr N was suffering from PTSD. He wanted to re-examine our client once he had completed 8-12 sessions of CBT to provide his final opinion.
The Hand Surgeon’s report confirmed that our client had sustained a crush injury to his right index finger and, as a result, required a partial amputation to his right index finger. He observed that Mr N tended to exclude the use of the injured finger as it was painful on contact, making daily tasks more difficult. The expert suggested that further surgery was required to remove the nail remnant and to slightly shorten the finger. He believed this would resolve some, or all, of the tenderness experienced by our client and encourage the use of the finger-in-hand activity. He determined that, without surgery, the symptoms experienced by Mr N would likely be permanent.
We also instructed a Consult Orthopaedic Surgeon to examine Mr N’s other physical injuries. In line with his recommendations, we then instructed a local private hospital to arrange an MRI scan and X-ray for our client. These scans confirmed that our client had a rotator cuff tear that may require future surgery. However, the expert recommended that more conservative treatments such as steroid injections and physiotherapy were trialed in the first instance and was hopeful that symptoms should resolve within 2 years. The Surgeon did advise that in the event that surgery became necessary, then Mr N would require 3-4 months off work for recovery.
Whilst we were waiting for the results of the MRI scan and X-ray, the Defendant made an increased offer of £50,000. However, because the investigation into the injuries and subsequent treatment had not concluded, we once again advised our client to wait before settling to avoid undervaluing the claim.
Once Mr N’s CBT treatment had concluded, we arranged a re-examination with the Psychologist for an updated report. The updated psychological report was received and confirmed that, although he still had psychological symptoms, Mr N no longer filled the criteria for PTSD. Mr N was likely to suffer with moderate anxiety and reduced confidence for the foreseeable future and should continue using management techniques.
In addition to compensation for Mr N’s injuries, we collated our client’s financial losses. This included the CBT treatment, the cost of the recommended surgery, additional costs he had to pay as a result of being unable to work for his own business, and general repair costs for the bicycle.
Negotiating a settlement
The Defendant’s insurers then further increased their offer to £72,500 in full and final settlement of the claim. As we had now obtained all the medical evidence and collated details of our client’s losses, we were able to value Mr N’s claim and provide advice on the settlement offer. We recommended Mr N accept this offer and our client received a settlement of £72,500.
This case highlights the importance of obtaining medical evidence before settling a claim to avoid under-settling. The initial settlement offer was £35,00 and it settled for over double this figure once we have investigated his claim in depth.
Find out more
If you have been injured in a cycling accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to claim compensation. Our personal injury solicitors are experts in their field and can help you secure the funding and treatment you need to be able to move forward.