In November 2015, the cyclist, Albert, was cycling to work when a driver crossed on to the wrong side of the road and hit him head on.
Albert was rendered unconscious and suffered injuries, including a serious injury to his right wrist, a head injury, fractured ribs and soft tissue injuries. The driver did not stop, but the force of the impact broke the number plate from his vehicle. Police recovered the number plate and tracked the driver down at his home address.
Albert was taken to hospital where he needed surgery to repair his ribs. Later, he also underwent two surgical procedures on his wrist but was left with reduced movement and strength. Unfortunately, this resulted in Albert having to give up his highly skilled role as a circular saw smither in the steel industry.
As a member of British Cycling, Albert had access to the specialist cycling injuries team at Leigh Day, who contacted the defendant's insurers and secured a comprehensive rehabilitation package to assist in his recuperation.
While the defendant's insurer initially provided assistance to Albert, after further investigations, they confirmed that the driver had obtained insurance by making false statements in their application form and that the policy was void.
They attempted to argue that they were not responsible for compensating Albert. Instead, they argued that the claim should be made against a former insurer (for a former owner) of the vehicle involved.
Leigh Day maintained that there was no evidence that the other insurer was involved and that, while the policy was void, European Insurance Regulations meant they still had to compensate Albert. After almost a year, the defendant's insurer conceded the argument and agreed to meet the claim. After further expert reports were obtained, a significant settlement was agreed for Albert.
“Without the help from Leigh Day and being a member of British Cycling I don't think I would have received the help and compensation that I did. I strongly recommend that if you cycle on a regular basis you join British Cycling because the help and care you receive after an unfortunate incident is priceless.”
Leigh Day solicitor, William Broadbent, who represented Albert, said:
“I am delighted that we have managed to reach settlement for Albert's claim. It was a long process with many hurdles to overcome, but Albert maintained his resolute spirit throughout. While it is awful that Albert has had to give up a highly skilled role, which had taken many years of training and experience to reach, I hope that this settlement will mean that Albert can look to the future and put the incident of 2015 behind him.”
Originally published by Leigh Day, October 2020
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