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Colleague took a nasty fall today...legal advice sought...

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Fab Foodie, 13 Feb 2008.

  1. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Young Chewy in our lab was riding this morning along a shared use path (same as I often do) and rode over those grooved paving slabs they put in the path (I think for the blind), they were wet/frosty and caused the front wheel to slip from under her. She landed on her face, has lost 2 front teeth, badly bruised face and lips, damaged hand and is obviously off-work. Bike damage (Joey Chameleon) as yet unknown.
    Writing, typing, talking and eating due to swelling difficult for her right now.

    Another colleague walking to work this morning witnessed another cyclist coming off on exactly the bobbled bits (again for the blind) on another part of the cycle path.

    These grooved slabs are lethal on a cyclepath, I've advised everybody I meet to ride across them at 90 degrees to the groove direction (on the walking side of the path) after nearly coming a cropper on a damp night.

    She's obvously going to need a lot of dental work.

    Can she claim/Sue the council for a hazardous surface poorly intended for cycling use?
    Any advice I can forward to her.

    BTW, she is not a CTC member.
    Anybody any suggestions?
     
  2. col

    col Veteran

    That sounds nasty,sorry to hear it,hope she gets well soon.But just as a query,was there a warning sign,to point out the different surface?Cant help on the legalities im afraid.
     
  3. Sounds nasty, send her my best wishes. I know it's been said before, but all the advice she needs is JOIN THE CTC!!
    Hmmm, I must renew my membership, now I think about it.
     
  4. Maz

    Maz Guru

    Maybe she could try one of those no-win-no-fee lawyer things we see advertised on TV etc.
    Were there any witnesses? I'm sure that would strengthen her case.
     
  5. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Nasty! Sympathies! Sounds identical to the two 'face-plants' I experienced, which caused almost identical damage to me (four teeth in my case), though in my case it was for different causes (the second one knocked out the bridge I'd had put in, after the first :smile: ). That dental job is going to command a massive bill: even if she's got an NHS dentist we're looking at several hundred pounds here, maybe even over a grand... If there's any chance at all she can recoup some of this, she must try! I can't think of anything better than what the others have suggested - try the CTC. I believe they will offer advice to new joiners even ex post facto, for events that happened before you join.
     
  6. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    There's a firm that specialises in representation of cyclists - I'm not sure where I saw their details, but I'll try and look them out. All the best for a speedy recovery to your friend.
     
  7. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    My advice would be to... seek advice. From an expert that is.
    And in the mean time to begin collating as much evidence as possible, photographs, times, dates etc.
     
  8. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Here we go - the firm is called "CycleAid" and operate on a No Win No Fee basis.

    There's an article about them in City Cycling and their own website is here.

    They're independent of the CTC, so membership or otherwise should not be a factor (although your friend might want to join in any case).
     
  9. Kirst

    Kirst Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    If she's a trade union member she almost certainly will get assistance with legal representation that way, and I bet her home insurance will cover her too. How nasty. Hope it all works out for her.
     
  10. trustysteed

    trustysteed Guest

    You have to adjust your riding to the conditions and surface you're riding on. When I fell off my bike yesterday, my first thought was 'You arse!', not 'How much money can I sue the council for slipping on the white road markings in the frost'?

    At some point, people have to take responsibility and blame for their own actions, not try and get financial benefit from somebody else if they'd just taken more care themselves.
     
  11. On the other hand, and while I agree with your broader point, those cycle path surfacing bits could almost be designed to knock you off your bike.
     
  12. skwerl

    skwerl New Member

    Location:
    London
    At least someone has some common sense.
    Manhole covers can be lethal, even in the dry but i wouldn't blame anyone except myself if I caught one on a bend a lost the bike from under me.
    A shared cycle path is going to have lots of obstacles to contend with. If it's icy slow down and take care. If you take a spill it's unfortunate but it's no one's fault
     
  13. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    Location:
    S Yorks
    Good reason to ignore the cycle path and stick to the road.

    Worst IMO is juctions between cycle path and road. Always full of debris and leaves.
     
  14. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    I agree with you to a point, Trusty, but I've experienced these things (the type of ridged paving described) on my own commute - they aren't fit for purpose, and the only way to avoid them is to swerve onto the pedestrian section (or not use the expensive cycle path[1] at all). I've written to my local council about mine (and managed to avoid a spill so far) but one of the levers for getting things changed (and regrettably a more powerful lever) is the possibility of a financial penalty for leaving them as is.

    [1] As facilities go, the one I'm thinking of is pretty useful, avoiding some nasty roundabouts.
     
  15. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    A town here in the south west is having a similiar problem but from what i've heard on the local news is that the council are keen to resolve the problem for fear of being held responsible for a serious accident

    Newton Abbott Cycling Group

    Simon