Rear tyre clip by taxi leads to job loss for Philippe

Entrance to Avonbank Holdings on the A803 On 20 January 2017, at about 5pm, Philippe was riding his bicycle home from work between the Lathallan Interchange and Linlithgow Bridge on the A803. Being a journey Phillipe made three days a week for work, he was well prepared and made use of lights and a high-vis jacket. A Skoda Octavia taxi was out on a call to pick up a passenger and was driving behind Philippe. Near the entrance to Avonbank Holdings, the taxi hit the rear tyre of Phillipe's bike and he was thrown off and onto the road.

Emergency services attended the scene and Philippe was taken to Forth Valley Hospital, where it was established that he had sustained a degloving injury to his right lower leg with an avulsion injury to the right sural nerve, a soft tissue injury to his lumbar spine, various road rash abrasions, a tendon injury in his left thumb, and neuropathic pain in his right leg and both hands. Following diagnosis, Philippe was then transferred to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Over time, he did recover from some of his injuries, but the ongoing nerve pain caused him issues at work. Philippe was prescribed the drug,pregabalin, the effect of which was to make him drowsy and lose concentration which in itself impacted his ability to do his job. Philippe went on to be dismissed from his employment.

When Philippe first approached Cycle Law Scotland, he was being represented by another firm of solicitors, but one year post incident he felt there had been little by way of development and he was not being kept up to date with any progress. He had never met his solicitor in person.

We will always meet our clients in person where it is appropriate to do so. We met with Philippe and his wife to understand the incident circumstances but, more importantly, the impact it was having on him and his family life. At a further meeting, we obtained statements from his sons because it is often only through speaking with family members that we can truly understand how an individual has been affected.

The defenders were disputing liability on the basis that Philippe had not been wearing appropriate high visibility clothing and that he had not had lights fitted properly to his bike. We therefore obtained detailed statements from the reporting officers and the paramedics both of whom confirmed this had not been the case.

From the available evidence, it seemed that the taxi driver simply had not seen Philippe on his bike when he should have and, by the time he did, it was too late. It was on this point which our team of specialist cycling injury lawyers based his case. Philippe’s case was raised in the Court of Session. There were delays due to Covid in the second quarter of 2020, but we used this time to gather all available evidence and worked closely with Philippe’s employment lawyer to understand the timeline of events that had led to him losing his job.

A joint meeting was arranged with the Defenders in advance of the case running to Proof (the final Court hearing date). This meeting lasted over three hours. It was not until two weeks later that a reasonable proposal was made to enable the case to settle

As well as fighting for fair compensation for his injuries, the team at Cycle Law Scotland were also able to assist Philippe in getting an award of damages for losing his job after he had not been given the appropriate support by his employer.

In spite of resistance from the insurer, we were eventually able to secure an award for Philippe that provided him with financial support for the future. Following extensive treatment, Philippe can now enjoy his new 'normal' with his family. He had this to say about his experience:-

“Following my RTA, Cycle Law Scotland was recommended to me by a friend who had heard of their good reputation. From the outset, the service has been outstanding. Communication has always good and interactions were friendly professional and productive. Jodi Gordon has worked very hard to secure a settlement, which at times must have been challenging as the defendants were not always cooperative.I would thoroughly recommend Cycle Law Scotland to anyone who, like me, has been involved in an accident resulting in personal injury whilst on my bicycle.”

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