Last year, a District Judge considered the old aged argument of who to blame for accidents.
The Claimant was crossing a street in Dublin at rush hour when she was struck by the Defendant cyclist. Both knocked unconscious. The Claimant sued the Defendant for damages.
At trial, the Claimant was unable to give evidence – having suffered amnesia as a result of the accident. The Defendant gave evidence that the traffic lights were green in their favour and that the Claimant was on her phone. This account was accepted by the Court. A third-party cyclist gave evidence that the Defendant had sounded his horn before accelerating towards the crossing.
In apportioning the blame on a 50/50 basis, the Judge found that, although the Defendant had right of way, in accelerating he did not exercise reasonable care and skill.
The story does not, however, end here. For whatever reason, the Defendant did not counter-claim against the Claimant. He recently gave his side of the story in a Twitter thread which was picked by a national newspaper.
Damages for the Claimant were assessed at £8,600 – with the Defendant being required to meet half of that sum. The issue of legal costs was much more significant. As the Defendant has not counter-claimed, they were not entitled to his share of the costs. Instead, he was stuck with the costs of the Claimant.
This case makes a strong argument for cyclists to be required to carry insurance. It makes an equally strong argument for such provisions to be extended to pedestrians! Whether the actions of the parties, in this case, might have placed them beyond the terms of such cover may be a question for another day.
For more information about cycling accidents please contact one of our legal team today.