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Dave Jones – Cycle Claim Case Study

21 Oct 2015, 2:44 PM

Dave is a triathlete who was hit by a car whilst on a training ride on the 11th September 2012. He was training for the London Triathlon after a successful summer which included a holiday cycling through Europe.

Dave was riding on a straight road during daylight hours on a fine clear day.  A car travelling in the opposite direction attempted to turn right across his path and collided with him.  He was knocked from his bike and suffered multiple injuries including a fractured clavicle.

He was taken by ambulance to his local hospital where he received treatment in the Accident & Emergency Department.  His arm was immobilised in a sling and he was discharged.  He was then referred to an Orthopaedic Surgeon on a private basis who advised that he had a displaced fracture which required open reduction internal fixation surgery. He had the operation within a few days and then commenced physiotherapy.

Despite the clear cut circumstances of the accident the Defendant initially denied all liability and then alleged contributory negligence.  Dave was surprised, but also flattered at the insurer’s claim that he was riding too fast.

The police investigation was extremely brief and they made an early decision to take no action against the car driver on the grounds that there were no witnesses.

In light of the Defendant’s denial of liability we prepared Dave’s case for the issue of court proceedings.

Despite the absence of witness evidence we were confident that the claim would succeed  and eventually after the threat of court proceedings we were able to persuade the Defendant’s insurers to admit liability in full.  The claim then proceeded in relation to quantum/value.

Expert medical evidence was obtained from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Psychiatrist and a detailed schedule of loss was prepared.

Dave worked very hard in his rehabilitation and made an excellent recovery. He was back training within a few months of the accident.

He recovered damages for his injuries and losses in the sum of £28,500.

This was a classic case of insurers seeking to deny liability or allege contributory negligence simply because there were no witnesses.  Whilst there is usually a litigation risk there are many cases, like Dave’s,  where no concessions should be made.

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