Cyclists are amongst the most vulnerable of road users and, if an accident happens, personal injury lawyers play a vital role in ensuring that just compensation is paid. In one case, a cyclist who was catastrophically injured when a parked motorist opened her car door in his path received seven-figure damages.
The man, in his 60s, was riding home from work along a cycle lane when he collided with the car door and fell onto the road. He struck his head, suffering a severe brain injury. He barely survived the accident and was for a time in a deep coma. Following rehabilitation, he made a reasonably good recovery from his physical injuries, but the damage to his brain caused a profound change in his personality.
Formerly a bookkeeper, he suffers from cognitive difficulties, executive dysfunction, symptoms of anxiety and communication problems. His days of paid employment are over; he does not have capacity to manage his own affairs and his life expectancy is reduced to the age of 81. He has a tendency to reject professional care, but it is hoped that light-touch support will improve his access to the community and his quality of life.
After proceedings were launched on his behalf, the motorist's insurers agreed to pay 85 per cent of the full value of his claim. Following further negotiations, a full and final settlement of his case was achieved for a lump sum of £2,890,000. In approving the settlement, the High Court praised his wife for the unstinting support she has given him since the accident.