Brian* was staying in a cottage on holiday with his family one summer when he decided head out on his bicycle. As an experienced cyclist at age 45, Brian was wearing specialist cycling gear including high vis clothing and prescription sunglasses. He was also wearing a safety helmet.
A car was following Brian as he made his way down a steep hill and so he kept close to the edge of the road in case the car overtook him. Brian’s front wheel then made contact with a stone which caused him to be thrown onto the road a considerable distance from his bike over the handlebars.
As well as the stone which was positioned on the road, there were other hazardous conditions with a worn and degraded edge of the tarmac and a low hanging hedge causing deep shade.
Brian suffered life-threatening injuries with a number of spinal fractures and a very severe brain injury which required surgery and has resulted in a very significant change in personality and severe cognitive deficits and the loss of his well-established professional career.
We argued the Council should have placed an unbroken white line along the edge of the road , which would have been a cheap and effective way of highlighting the safe outer edge for road users and cyclists in particular, and the accident would then have been avoided.
Since suffering a brain injury, Brian requires 24 hour support and lacks the capacity to manage his financial affairs.
We were successful in securing a payment of £1.25 million as final settlement for Brian.
* The name and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved