Pedestrian and Cycle accidents and the effects of Covid-19

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Personal Injury Article

19 June, 2020

The Covid restrictions have encouraged us to get out on our bicycles and walk. Cycle shops are reporting a significant increase in new purchases and the good weather has shown a significant increase in cycle and pedestrian traffic.

During the initial days of lockdown, there were very few cars on the road, however, as restrictions ease, the roads are getting busier. Inevitably their paths will cross, accidents can happen and in the majority of cases the cyclist and the pedestrian usually come off worse in a collision.

All road users have to look out for each other. Where, however, there is clear error on the part of one or the other, the defaulting party is likely to be liable. If it's not clear and both are partly to blame, the Law reform (Contributory negligence) Act 1945 allows the Court to apportion blame and reduce the value of a claim. Speed, alcohol, failure to display lights or signals can be a factor resulting in a reduction of a claim and apportionment of blame.

In pedestrian and cycle accidents, causative potency is a significant factor. Vehicles by their very nature have the potential to cause much more damage to a cyclist or a pedestrian. Some cases have described vehicles as a "weapon". As result the driver often has to bear more responsibility.

If an accident involves a child, the odds are much better. The younger the child the less likely they are to be found contributory negligence. If the accident occurs in a pedestrian area or near a school the onus on the driver is even higher. They need to take precautions and care in case a child steps out.

There are numerous cases to support the contention that the drivers are frequently found to be at fault when cyclist & pedestrians are involved. Examples include:

  • HGV drivers turning left crushing a cyclist being found 70% to blame;
  • A child running out in front of a car;
  • Cyclists jumping off pavements into the path of a vehicle;
  • A cyclist ignoring a traffic control succeeded in recovering 20% when he was hit by a taxi.

Here at Forbes we understand the importance of establishing liability. A number of our solicitors are keen cyclists and understand the issues involved. We are keen to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

For more information contact John Bennett in our Personal Injury department via email or phone on 01254 872111. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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