Personal injury solicitors frequently have to deal with cases where cyclists have been hit by a car and the driver subsequently claimed they came from nowhere.
Daryl Robinson, a personal injury lawyer in Cambridge, spoke out after Cambridgeshire County Council figures showed that more than 468 cyclists were entitled to claim personal injury compensation after accidents on the county’s roads in 2011. 218 of those incidents occurred in the city of Cambridge.
Mr Robinson recently worked on a personal injury claim from a cyclist who spent several weeks in the city’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital with severe brain injuries.
In another incident, a 27-year-old reporter, who graduated from Cambridge University, was hit by a lorry as she cycled to work last year. She has remained in a coma ever since.
Robinson says that motorists have to understand that they can take preventative steps to stop these accidents happening. The number of accidents involving cyclists in Cambridge City only dropped by 12 last year, and whilst that is a decrease, there are still far too many incidents. Furthermore, he believes that a lot of incidents do not get reported.
These accidents often occur at junctions and fast roads, and sometimes in front of the motorist’s home. A frequent excuse used by drivers is the cyclist came from nowhere, but Robinson explains that this is not scientifically possible.
Cyclists are protected by the local courts, but when it comes to apportioning liability in personal injury claims, the situation can become more complex as both parties might share the blame. Cyclists and motorists need better education in road safety if we are to reduce the amount of accidents, he added.