In response to an article appearing in the Guardian
In June 2019, the case of Brushett v Hazeldean hit the headlines and divided opinion on whether a cyclist should be liable in damages to a pedestrian who stepped out in front of him, resulting in both of them sustaining injury.
Collisions are unfortunately common place on our roads; the majority involving motorised vehicles. It is a legal requirement to have insurance in place when you are driving a car or riding a motorcycle. The requirement for insurance comes down to risk and the risk of harm you potentially pose to others on the road. It is for that reason that cyclists do not have the same obligation.
Of the 448 pedestrians killed on our roads in Britain in 2016, only 3 were caused by bicycles and so the risk is clearly very low.
For Mr Hazeldean, not having adequate legal advice at the outset and not being insured at the time of the incident in 2015, brought with it financial hurdles. Let’s not forget, the Judge ruled that both Brushett and Hazeldean were equally at fault for the collision. Had Mr Hazeldean secured legal advice at the start of his case, then a counterclaim would have been pled. This would have allowed him to offset his own damages against those of Ms Brushett.
With the case going all the way to a Trial, there are hefty legal costs involved. For the majority of road traffic collision cases, an insurance company will pick up the tab. The individual will very rarely, if ever be liable for Court costs. However, with no insurance in place, Mr Hazeldean was left to foot the bill.