Detailed Witness Statements are Key

Michael Haywood Incident Locus

Cycling Incident Circumstances

Michael was out for a leisurely cycle on his carbon fibre road bike in July 2017. He was cycling down the ‘Paddy Slacks’ in the Scottish Borders when he saw a taxi sitting stationary on the right-hand side of the single-track road. As he approached, the taxi turned left across his path in order to enter a farm track. Michael was unable to take any evasive action and collided with the front nearside of the taxi before being thrown from his bicycle.

The driver was extremely apologetic and drove Michael to Borders General Hospital where he was diagnosed with having sustained a fractured collar bone.

Michael contacted Cycle Law Scotland and expected that the compensation claim process would be relatively straightforward as the driver appeared to be apologetic and had not indicated when commencing his left-hand turn.

Insurers deny liability

We intimated his claim to the insurers of the vehicle, but they denied liability. They said that the vehicle had pulled into the left side of the road in order to enter a country lane and that it had been stationary and waiting when Michael came the hill at speed and collided with it for no apparent reason.

Case raised in ASPIC

We raised the case in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court in Edinburgh. It was set down to run to a Court Hearing on 2nd April 2019, some 20 months post incident. Throughout the court process, the defenders had continued to dispute liability.Four days before the case was due, the first of four offers was made. The final offer was put forward on the afternoon before the trial was due to commence and this was accepted. The original offer had been only 40% of the final settlement figure.

Importance of detailed witness statements

The only witnesses to this incident had been the passengers within the vehicle. Initially, they appeared to support the driver’s version of events that he had, in fact, been stationary at the time of collision. However, following a thorough more detailed investigation with the witnesses, it was clear that the full story did not corroborate that of the driver.

Visiting the locus

Our solicitors attended the scene of the incident in order to talk through the sequence of events and really understand how this incident had taken place. The taxi had missed the turning for the farm track, stopped and reversed back up the road. A gate at the end of the farm track was closed and so one of the passengers had got out to open the gate. The taxi was waiting whilst this took place and then, without checking his mirrors, pulled across the road colliding with the cyclist in the process.
It was only after full investigations had been carried out on behalf of Michael that we were able to prepare confidently for the Court hearing and negotiate a reasonable settlement for him. Upon settlement Michael said, “you have been great and I have been very impressed with your professional, knowledgeable and thorough approach throughout, not to mention your bravery to stick by the way you wanted to do things”.

Specialist cycling Solicitor

This case highlights the importance of instructing a specialist solicitor following a cycling incident. We visited the collision locus, we spoke with all of the available witnesses, we communicated at length with our client and we built a robust case which we were very confident with. This allowed us to stand fast and ensure Michael received a reasonable reward of compensation.

Michael was delighted with the result saying:

"I contacted Cycle Law Scotland after a car pulled across my path leading me suffering a broken collar bone.

From the outset of getting in touch and at each stage thereafter, Jodi and her colleagues were helpful and approachable. They took the time to explain the processes involved, which was helpful as I had never been through anything like this before.

There were some difficulties with my case and Jodi's and CLS tackled each issue in a calm, knowledgeable and professional way, leading to a successful outcome and appropriate settlement of my case."

I can highly recommend Cycle Law Scotland."

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