Lee v Williams [2001] EWCA Civ 82

Junction onto the A13On 3rd August 1995, Mr Lee was riding his bicycle east along the pavement of westbound carriageway of the A13. 

He stopped at the edge of an access road which joined the A13. He dismounted as he intended to cross the access road. His front bicycle wheel was positioned just in the roadway which gave him a better view to his right of oncoming traffic from the access road. 

Mr Williams was driving along the access road and intended to join the A13. His attention was immediately drawn to the direction of traffic which flowed from the right. He intended to move across to the offside lane of the dual carriageway.

As he pulled out from the junction, he collided with the front wheel of Mr Lee’s bicycle.

The cyclist suffered a severe injury to his leg as he was knocked to the ground.

Mr Lee raised a personal injury claim against Mr Williams. An appeal was lodged after the Court found the car driver to be solely at fault for the accident as he failed to keep a proper lookout.

During the appeal, the cyclist was criticised for cycling on the pavement and accepted he was wrong for doing so. The Judge believed that the cyclist was at fault for putting himself further into the road than was necessary, making himself more vulnerable. However, he did believe that the greater fault should sit with the driver as he was found to have cut sharply towards the cyclist whilst exiting the access road.

Cyclist 40% to blame.              Driver 60% to blame.

The outcome for the cyclist was that he received 60% of the value of his injuries as compensation.

He was held negligent for his front wheel being positioned too far over the pavement.

An interesting point to note from this case is that the Judge of the appeal recognising and stating that “a pedestrian or a cyclist is more vulnerable than somebody in a motor car.”

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