Leigh & Day Cycling Solicitors have won a case for a cyclist who was knocked off his bike by a vehicle turning right which turned directly into his path. The solicitors put up a good ‘helmet argument’ but it was ‘interesting’ that the insurer didn’t accept it. This case also shows that cyclists need ‘specialist bike solicitors that know what they are doing.
“Our client suffered facial, orthopaedic and head injuries which affected both his work and cycling performance. He had significant surgery and treatment over a long period.
Our client was not wearing a cycle helmet at the time of the accident and this gave rise to an argument that his damages ought to be reduced to reflect contributory negligence on his part for failing to wear a helmet. The defendants argued that if he had been wearing a helmet at the time of the incident his injuries would have been avoided or minimised. They were seeking a deduction in the region on 15-25% of the ultimate damages award.
We adduced evidence from technical and medical experts to the effect that a cycling helmet would have made no difference to our client’s injuries on account of his speed at the point of impact.
The case was resolved at a round table meeting for the sum of £410,000. Whilst the insurer never accepted our position that the helmet would not have protected our client no mention of this was made during settlement discussions.
The case was complex in terms of valuation as it was put forward on the basis that our client’s career had not progressed as it would have done but for the incident. Whilst he has not got back to his pre-accident level of training and fitness the BC member has happily returned to some competitive cycling”. .