Head Injury = No Recollection

We deal with so many cases where our client , as a result of the head injury , cannot recall how the accident occurred. Insurers will seek to take advantage of this , especially if there are no witnesses as there are so often are not. It’s when physical pieces of evidence , eg the damaged cycle,damage to the vehicle, photos of both , and digital evidence, CCTV , Garmin, Strava, take even more importance than they would normally. It’s also where the work that the police do at the scene of an accident takes more importance than usual. The input of  a road accident reconstruction engineer can also be invaluable in piecing such evidence together. Cyclists should not be penalised because of the severity of the head injury they have sustained at the hands of a negligent motorist who can recall what happened perfectly because they were encased in an  aluminium shell . Helmetted or not, cyclists sustain more head injuries than other road users and it’s crucial that they are protected in terms of making a full civil recovery from the...

Hit and Run in Islington,police too under resourced to catch the driver.

The harsh reality of living under such swingeing government cuts was again brought home to us at Cycle Legal late last week. A new instruction , young mother left for dead in a hit and run in Islington (cyclists and pedestrians are the predominant victims of hit and runs) and a bus driver who saw everything and stayed until the police arrived. He volunteered his bus camera which almost certainly would catch the vehicle registration of the offending car , he couldn’t do anything more , good on him. Police tell our client that they can’t obtain bus footage unless the bus is involved in the accident , we know this is absolute rubbish and is their way of managing their resources and letting the driver away scot free. There is also local authority cameras at the scene which might help us find the car and the offending driver. Because we have been instructed early on , we have written to the police , the council, a nearby school and the bus company as soon as we obtain their details from the police. The all important 30 day window before footage is deleted and gone forever gives us a chance , to put it bluntly, to do the police’s job for...

Uber avoiding responsibility

I’ve blogged before on this issue, Uber  and Addison Lee passengers opening doors into the path of  cyclists. It’s likely to be a recurring theme, since they are determined ,and they have the resources of course , to avoid liability for the acts of their passengers. In a current case, they have inserted an exclusion clause into the insurance policy to escape such liability and now seek to rely on this , after the passenger has been prosecuted for opening door to danger and my client has a broken collar bone. A further muddying of the waters is whether there is any liability on the driver for allowing/ encouraging the passenger to open the door without warning him of cyclists who might be passing. Should passengers be made aware that by stepping into one of Uber’s or Addison Lee’s cars that they will be on their own facing legal action, for which they have no insurance, if they try to alight from the cab when they have reached their destination ? My crusade is to make sure that the cyclist receives something for what he has gone through and what he is left with and that a mighty multi national organisation does not escape liability for a completely forseeable...

Another Uber passenger,another injured cyclist.

This time, it’s an ongoing case and a long chat today with a barrister over the use of a vehicle and whether the passenger’s act in opening the door constitutes use of the vehicle. It seems to me that large scale insurers , eg Uber and Addison Lee , are deliberately putting into their insurance contracts a clause that excludes passenger liability, whereas the average motor policy does cover the passenger, through the driver’s insurance , so that the injured cyclist does not suffer injustice. In this case, we may be forced to pursue the passenger personally which doesn’t seem right at all, either for my injured cyclist client or for the passenger themselves. Will keep thinking and working on this one....

Head Injured Cyclist , Risk of Epilepsy

We finished a claim this week for ,Jack, a software developer client who had a head injury following a lorry collision .He was cycling with friends to go climbing one Saturday near Elephant and Castle when the cycling accident happened. Like many head injured cyclists, his memory of the accident was hazy and we had real trouble with the Met Police , their investigation was sub standard and this could have affected Jack’s chances of succeeding with his case. Even more sinister than that was that he was dealing direct with the insurers before he approached us and even though they knew he had sustained a head injury, they were quite happy for the case to be dealt with through a GP report. Where a head injury , including loss of consciousness has taken place , and where the hospital have carried out a brain scan,the head injured cyclist should be seen by a neurologist ,the wait will be longer and the fee won’t be small but the insurers will pay this fee and it means that the injury will be dealt with properly. We are accredited by Headway, the brain injury charity,and a key part of that training is to obtain the right expert reports and spend the necessary time with the client in order to look into the case fully. Thankfully , Jack made a great recovery and the insurers were willing to pay even more than a good settlement to take into account the slightly increased epilepsy risk that he will have in the future. I use the word sinister about the insurers since from April...