Criminal convictions may not be successful but Civil claims can be.

Biggar Street - Glasgow

On Friday 3rd July 2015, Stuart was involved in a hit and run incident on his bicycle as he was riding to an evening class. It was a clear, warm and dry evening.

He was cycling West on Biggar Street in Glasgow (A89) on approach to the Forge Retail Park. He was sitting stationary at the lights just before the roundabout and was planning on heading straight on. The lights turned to green and he went to move off. Suddenly, he heard a commotion and a car whizzed by followed by another car behind which skidded and mounted the grass verge. The car managed to get back onto the road but couldn’t avoid colliding with the rear of Stuart’s causing him to be thrown onto the ground.

In shock and wanting to get off the road as quickly as possible, Stuart shouted at the driver who had stopped further along the road to stay where they were but the driver sped off in the direction of Millerston Street. A witness, who had been driving in the same direction, followed the car and was able to take a photo of the registration number.

Stuart managed to drag himself home and contact his sister. Together, they drove to Shettleston police station but he was advised to go straight to Glasgow Royal Infirmary and attend the police station the following day.

At hospital, Stuart was diagnosed with a right clavicle fracture and significant bruising to both of his legs. His arm was placed in a sling and he was discharged.

The following day he went back to Shettleston police station and spoke to a different police officer to give a full statement about what had happened. He was told that he would hear from someone in due course. He then instructed a local Paisley-based solicitor but he was not a specialist Personal Injury solicitor and ultimately told Stuart that he could not do anything with his case.

Criminal investigation

Stuart followed up matters with the police on a number of occasions but was told there were no witnesses to the incident and no CCTV footage. This was despite Stuart giving the police details of the witness. Eventually, Stuart was called in for a police line-up to see if he could identify the driver from a group of 12 people. He recognised the driver instantly. However, he denied he had been involved in the incident as did his passenger. The matter was reported to the Procurator Fiscal but it was decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal case against the driver.

Civil Case

With the criminal case at a dead end and no help from his instructed solicitor, Stuart contacted Cycle Law Scotland and requested that we recover the case file from his previous solicitors and re-start the civil process on his behalf. A claim was promptly initiated against the insurers of the third-party driver, and in accordance with the Action Protocol, they were given a period of 12 weeks to investigate the collision circumstances. The third-party insurers confirmed interest in the case and admitted liability.

Gathering evidence to quantify the claim.

We instructed specialist medical experts as Stuart was still suffering pain. The opinion of the orthopaedic surgeon was that, given the length of time that had now passed since the accident, the symptoms complained of would be permanent.

Stuart’s bicycle had also been damaged in the collision, and it was therefore necessary that a bicycle assessment be carried out. The figure for repair/replacement was set at just under £900. The wage loss sustained during his period of absence from employment was also calculated and added to his claim.

With all the relevant information to hand – the damage to his bicycle, his wage loss, and medical reports – we were in a position to chase the third-party insurers for an offer of settlement. An initial offer was refused before we accepted an offer one third more than the initial offer. The case was duly concluded to Stuart’s satisfaction.

Overall, this was an excellent outcome for both Cycle Law Scotland and for Stuart, whose contact with the legal system prior to our involvement hadn’t been at all positive. Stuart had this to say about his experience with us:

“My experience with Cycle Law Scotland has been a very positive one. They came in late to my situation as the firm I was with first of all told me they were unable to do anything for me. Then my GP who is also a cyclist gave me details of how to contact Cycle Law Scotland. Once Cycle Law Scotland was on the case, then that's when things started to happen for me. My experience with the police and the solicitors I was with beforehand left me feeling like nothing could be done to help me. Fortunately, Cycle Law Scotland was able to secure a very reasonable settlement for me. Scotland, as a country, has a long way to go as far as making its roads safer for cyclists and road users more tolerant and understanding toward cyclists. So, I am glad that Cycle Law Scotland was able to help me and other cyclists that have suffered similar situations.”

 

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