Arbitrator required to ensure injured cyclist recovers 100% of damages award

Gillian Palmer was involved in a cycling incident on the 3rd April 2017 around midday. She had been out for a 35-mile cycle and was on her way home. She was wearing a bright pink reflective cycling jacket.

The Cycling Incident - Hit from behind.

Turning onto the A68 from the Blainslie junction heading south, she looked both ways and could not see any vehicles approaching from either direction. She joined the A68 and had been cycling for around 50 meters when she felt a sharp blow to her right-hand side. She was catapulted from her bicycle landing in the middle of the road on her back. She was in shock and initially did not know what had happened. She lifted her head up and saw a white coloured car speed off away from the scene. The impact had been so severe that the nearside wing mirror of the vehicle that struck her was lying on the road beside her.Gillian Palmer Hit and Run Collision Locus

The police investigated matters and used the evidence of the wing mirror to pinpoint the make and model of the vehicle. They ran a number of checks and viewed CCTV in the area. Although almost certain that they had located the correct vehicle, they were unable to ascertain who had been driving at the time. This meant that no driver could be charged and the third-party insurers denied all responsibility.

Motor Insurers' Bureau.

The case, therefore, had to be dealt with as a ‘hit and run’ incident. When situations like this happen, an individual can make a claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau under their Untraced Drivers Agreement. The MIB effectively act as the third-party defender and, in turn, compensation can be awarded to the victim of the incident.

After lengthy investigations, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau made an extraordinary decision suggesting that Gillian’s award should be reduced by 15%, in respect of her contributing to the collision and in turn her resulting injuries. Their explanation was that Gillian had joined the road when it was not safe to do so and had not gathered up enough speed prior to the collision.

Arbitrator called in.

We were astonished by this decision. There was no merit or foundation to this argument. The MIB seemed to be ignoring the fact that Gillian had been on a bicycle not driving a motor vehicle. We appealed the decision to the Arbitrator who decided in Gillian’s favour. The reason being she was struck on her right side rather her left side. This showed that she had been established on the road cycling close to the verge of the road when she had been hit. She had not contributed to the incident in any way. The Arbitrator also noted that the driver of the vehicle would have known they had made contact with something or someone when they noticed their wing mirror was missing. They chose not to stop at the scene.

Specialist Lawyers who cycle. 

At Cycle Law Scotland, we have specialist personal injury lawyers who are also keen cyclists. With this extensive knowledge of cycling ourselves, we can give our clients the best representation and fight their corner to make sure justice is served. As a result of over two years of perseverance, Gillian was awarded damages in full.

Gillian was delighted with the outcome commenting:

“Following a hit and run accident where I was hit from my road bike, I turned to Cycle Law Scotland. I felt very strongly that this was unjust and truly a very traumatic experience for me. Left with Injuries to recover from. I was listened to and treated with such understanding and respect by all professionals I encountered at Cycle Law Scotland. I was informed at every stage of proceedings, which in my case were not always straight forward. The process was long and something I had never encountered before. It was made easier by the professionals who secured my successful claim. I felt relieved and satisfied that I had been taken seriously and felt able to move forward putting this trauma behind me. I am truly very grateful for the excellent care and service I received from Cycle Law Scotland.”

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