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Case Study

Successful Claim for Cyclist Who Hit Unmarked Bollard

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

Vickki Ridgway (VR) acted for Mr G, who was a cyclist in collision with an unmarked bollard, situated in the middle of a pedestrian and cycle path.

The bollard had been installed by the Defendant local authority, to prevent vehicular access but was very difficult to see during bright sunshine when it fell into the shadow of nearby trees.

The bollard was unmarked and located directly on the painted white line, making it difficult to discern against the background.

There had been previous incidents of cyclists colliding with the bollards on the cycle path and complaints had been made to the Defendant local authority prior to Mr G’s accident.

It was not until after Mr G’s accident that the bollard was painted.

A claim was made against the local authority on Mr G’s behalf on the basis of negligence, in that the bollard should have been highlighted and made visible with paint or alternatively it should have been replaced by a bollard which was easily visible.

Liability was initially denied by the local authority. However, following further representations made by VR, primary liability was admitted by the local authority, with Mr G accepting 33% contributory negligence, on the basis that he was a regular user of the cycle path and knew of the existence of the bollard prior to his accident.

Mr G was thrown from his bike and experienced a period of loss of consciousness, despite wearing a cycling helmet. Mr G sustained a injury to his left non-dominant shoulder, diagnosed as a significant rotator cuff tear which required surgery. Unfortunately the original repair to the cuff failed and Mr G was left with permanent pain and restriction of movement, as a result of which he was unable to partake in his pre-accident hobbies of swimming and cycling. Mr G was retired and therefore there was no claim for loss of earnings.

Compensation recovered for pain, suffering and loss of amenity and financial losses, including care and assistance and travel expenses, totalled £28,500 net of the 33% deduction for contributory negligence.

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