In July 2014 weather conditions were fine and dry with excellent visibility so a triathlete decided to go out for a training run.
The run was to take him on a 60km ride and involved travelling west on the A891 Strathblane Road. The road was made up of a two lane undivided carriageway with central line road markings and a 60mph speed limit. Whilst cycling on the main road he saw to his left the bonnet of a car on approaching a junction. Recognising the driver’s view would be impaired by trees and hedges he started to brake gently but he had right of way. However the car kept coming at him. The car came over the junction and the triathlete collided with the car before being thrown over the bonnet landing on the road surface face first.
Luckily the triathlete was wearing a Giro helmet but given the way he landed on the road surface he sustained facial injury including a fracture to his nose and dental injury. The driver apologised and drove the injured cyclist to a local Hospital before making sure that his training bike was secured with a local farmer.
The triathlete sought advice from Cycle Law Scotland and a claim was intimated directly to the driver’s insurance company who admitted liability.
He had been riding a Giant TCR Advanced 0 (2008). Described as a “responsive light reliable machine which can be used for training or racing” this was his cherished training bike.
Although damage seemed superficial with an initial bike assessment advising repair costs in the region of £300 it was noted the model had T-800 composite carbon frame and forks. Giant recommend that if you have crashed a composite carbon frame bike you should stop riding it immediately and have the bike inspected by an authorised Giant Retailer. If any crash is of significant force to damage any parts on the bicycle Giant recommend replacement of the frame.
We corresponded with the third party insurance company advising that it wasn’t simply a case of repair costs of the bike but given the carbon frame there was a risk that the entire frame was compromised and as such we claimed for a replacement cost agreeing to settle on an indemnity basis given that the bike was 6 years old.
Our client's case was settled at just over £16,500 within 5 months of intimation of the claim although interim payments were paid within a matter of weeks to enable the helmet, cycle glasses and clothing to be replaced to get back on the road.
Our client has now returned to competing at National Level. This case highlights the need for drivers emerging from minor road onto major roads to ensure they have a clear view before emerging as over the summer months vegetation can impair sight lines and many cyclists take to the back roads on training runs or ride outs for pleasure. Importantly, however, if you do have a crash and on your carbon frame bike it is important that the bike is properly assessed and contact is made with the manufacturer regarding their crash policy and recommendation.