Car driver clips cyclist's rear wheel

Harriet Vitty Collision Locus - A700 | Lauriston Place
Harriet Vitty, a final year student at Edinburgh University, was injured in a cycling collision on the 19th October 2015.

The incident took place at the junction between the A700 and Lauriston Place in Edinburgh.

Harriet was cycling West and had stopped in the cycle lane to the side of the Advanced Stop Line at the junction which was controlled by traffic lights. When the lights changed to green she cycled on but a driver in the lane to her right suddenly turned left to access Home Street and clipped Harriet’s rear wheel knocking her from her bicycle.

Harriet fell heavily, and a subsequent hospital visit revealed that she had fractured her right wrist and sustained injury to her ankle, neck and shoulder.

The driver of the car in question was very aggressive with Harriet at the scene of the accident. She was adamant that the collision had not been her fault. Harriet had been sitting in the advanced stop line coloured area and the car driver had turned left into her. How on earth could the driver say it was not her fault?

Harriet sought help from Cycle Law Scotland who contacted Tesco Insurance seeking compensation for Harriet as, after all, she was an innocent victim.

Like their insured driver, Tesco Underwriting Ltd were far from cooperative. By the 12th October 2016, 5 months after intimating the claim, Tesco had still failed to admit liability. CLS were left with no option other than to raise court proceedings.

As her case was progressing, we kept Harriet updated and well-informed. We reassured her that she had a strong case and that settlement was likely. The defences lodged on behalf of the insurers showed that they had very little basis to dispute liability. We were confident we would be able to secure a good offer.

As it happened, the Solicitors representing Tesco intimated a formal offer within 4 months of the court action being raised, but the offer was disappointingly low and was swiftly rejected. A second offer followed but was again rejected. Eventually, a more sensible offer was forthcoming and Harriet’s case settled out of court for a sum well in excess of the original offer.

This is yet another example of insurers taking a hard line influenced no doubt by their policyholder. At Cycle Law Scotland, we will not hesitate to raise a court action if a client’s claim is not being progressed by an insurer and liability is not admitted. Furthermore, we will fight hard to ensure the sum awarded, by way of compensation, is fair and reasonable.

Harriet had this to say:

“I was informed about Cycle Law Scotland thanks to the guys at Edinburgh Bike station so I got in touch and I'm really glad I did. Jodi was quick to reply, explained everything and constantly reassured me that I had done no wrong, had a good case and would eventually get a settlement. I would definitely recommend CLS to anyone unlucky enough to have been in a cycling accident. Thanks again!”

 

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