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Case Study

Bicycle accident due to road surface defect results in £4,500 settlement

The claimant’s details have been changed but this is indeed a true case

Phil Mulryne acted for Mr M, the Claimant, to pursue the claim for personal injury damages.

The Claimant was cycling on a local A-road when he came off his bike due to a defect of the surface of the road. The defect was a ridge that had formed due to the fact that a piece of replacement tarmac had sunk causing a difference in the level of the road.

The claim was put to the Highways authority who denied liability on the basis that at the time of the last inspection to the road, a short period prior to the accident, no defect was established. However, the Highways authority policy indicates that they would carry out repairs if the defect was at the level indicated in the photographs that the Claimant took following the accident.

The Claimant went back periodically and inspected the location and no repairs had been carried out so it was argued that the Highways authority were in breach of their own policy.

Whilst it could not be established that the extent of the defect was above the actionable i.e. repairable level at the time of the pre-accident inspection, we were able to argue that the overall inspection process was flawed and therefore this would have the effect on the Defendants credibility and ability to show that the proper systems were in place. A barrister’s advice was taken who put prospects of the claim succeeding at 60%.

Court proceedings were commenced and liability denied, but settlement proposals were subsequently put forward by the Defendants.

In the accident the Claimant sustained a fracture to his thumb. He recovered to the extent that he was left with no ongoing pain and discomfort but some restriction in thumb movement which was likely to be permanent.

The Claimant also claimed the costs of some medication and travelling expenses along with his damaged bike helmet.

The Defendants put forward an offer of £4500 in settlement of the Client’s claim, which was accepted.


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