New personal injury ruling lifts the brakes off compensation claims by pedestrians against cyclists

MORE than 130 pedestrians were seriously injured last year in accidents involving cyclists – and a landmark court case this week is set to offer new hope in their fight for compensation.

Yoga teacher Gemma Brushett is set to be awarded personal injury compensation running into several thousands of pounds after being struck by a cyclist as she stepped out into the road – while looking at her phone.

She has now successfully sued cyclist Robert Hazeldean, following the road accident in central London during rush hour in July 2015, according to media reports.

The Central London County Court heard that Mr Hazeldean had come through a green traffic light and had sounded a loud air horn attached to his bike, as well as shouting, swerving and braking in a bid to avoid the pedestrian.

Despite his attempts to take evasive action, he ploughed into her at up to 15mph. However, in a significant ruling that is expected to trigger more personal injury claims against cyclists, Judge Shanti Mauger found against Mr Hazeldean and said he was jointly responsible for the accident.

He ruled was liable to pay 50 per cent of Ms Brushett’s compensation claim because “cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways”. While describing him as “a calm and reasonable road user”, he went on to add: “Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear.”

After a personal injury compensation battle lasting over three years, he said: “The appropriate finding is that the parties were equally responsible and I make a finding of liability at 50/50.”

The result of the judge’s ruling is that Ms Brushett is now guaranteed a pay-out, but will only get half of the full value of her claim. The personal injury case will return to court at a later date for costs and damages figures to be fixed.

The judgment comes as the Government explores a range of options to make the roads safer for pedestrians after a record number were killed or seriously injured in collisions with cyclists.

Last year, some 130 pedestrians were seriously injured – and four were killed.

This new ruling is expected to see a surge in personal injury claims by pedestrians who have been injured in accidents involving the UK’s growing number of cyclists.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding a road or traffic accident in which you have been injured, or any other personal injury issues, please do not hesitate to contact this article’s author, our personal injury expert and Senior Litigation Executive Dylan Gorman, or his colleagues here at Milners, on 0113 245 0852 or email us at hello@milnerslaw

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