Questions raised over collision liability

20th June 2019

Questions raised over collision liability

A Yoga Teacher hit by a bike after walking on to a busy London road whilst looking at her phone has been successful in securing compensation.

The Claimant who sustained a minor head injury in terms of post-traumatic amnesia, successfully sued the cyclist who also sustained minor injuries from the collision.

The Defendant cyclist had ridden through a green traffic light and was travelling at a speed of between 10 and 15mph when he saw the Claimant crossing the road whilst looking at her phone. He sounded his airhorn and shouted whilst attempting to swerve and brake.

The Claimant pedestrian states that upon seeing the cyclist she panicked and tried to step back to pavement but to no avail. Neither party was able to avoid the collision.

Three witnesses to the accident gave evidence stating the Claimant had stepped out and the cyclist was unable to avoid her.

However, Judge Shanti Mauger, sitting at Central London County Court held that the cyclist owed a duty to other road uses to drive with reasonable care and skill.  On this occasion his level of care “fell below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear”.  However, Judge Mauger also accepted that the Claimant was looking at her phone and therefore crossed the road without looking.

The Court therefore found both parties equally liable for the collision and awarded damages on 50/50 split liability basis, whereby the Claimant will recover 50% of the overall assessed damages.

This case highlights that even when a road user has a right of way, this does not automatically mean you will escape liability. 

Pedestrians who are established on the road will always have right of way.  A motor vehicle or cyclist will owe a greater duty of care to a pedestrian as the risk of serious injury to a pedestrian is far greater than to any other motorist.

Higgs and Sons Personal Injury Department specialise in obtaining compensation for victims who have been involved in serious accidents with the focus being on obtaining the best possible outcome in terms of recovery and financial security.

If you have been a victim as a result of a serious accident and would like to speak with one of our specialist lawyers then please contact our personal injury department on 0345 111 5050.




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