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March 31st 2020

Cycling Accident

£325,000 damages for widow of cyclist who died after being hit by car

Samuel McFadyen

Samuel McFadyen

Senior Solicitor, Personal Injury

£325,000 damages for widow of cyclist who died after being hit by car

Hudgell Solicitors have secured damages of £325,000 for a woman whose husband died after being hit by a car when he was cycling without wearing a helmet.

Hudgell Solicitors have secured damages of £325,000 for a woman whose husband died after being hit by a car when he was cycling without wearing a helmet.

The woman, from Kent, was left devastated at the loss of her 61-year-old husband, with the accident happening just two years after they had married.

Now, she has thanked Hudgell Solicitors for bringing a fatal personal injury and dependency claim on her behalf to a successful conclusion, securing the six-figure settlement out of court.

She says specialist solicitor Samuel McFadyen made ‘a difficult time and process easier and more bearable’, dealing with the many questions which came as part of the claim, particularly around the couple’s financial position.

In such tragic circumstances, damages claims are calculated to compensate for loss and bereavement, but also crucially the financial loss to a family as a result of the deceased’s loss of income.

The case proved complicated as the man had been out of employment for five months prior to his death, having lost his £50,000 a year role as a property manager.

He had been in the process of challenging his dismissal and was seeking to claim compensation, alleging age discrimination, when he died.

Solicitor made ‘clinical process’ of claiming compensation easier

Hudgell Solicitors took over the case from another firm, with which the woman had started her personal injury claim after it had dealt with probate issues on her behalf.

She says she found the process of pursuing compensation difficult, but one that solicitor Samuel McFadyen made easier.

“Obviously I wish I could turn back the clock and have my husband still with me, but putting that aside I am very pleased with what Hudgell Solicitors have done for me and the level of compensation secured,” she said.

“It is really horrendous to lose your husband suddenly like I did and then have to go through every aspect of the accident and your life, but I have to say Sam has been brilliant in supporting me through it.

“Firstly there was an issue as my husband didn’t have a will, and then all of a sudden I found out my case was moving to another law firm.

“However, once Sam was involved it seemed to move forward quicker and when I was finding things hard he was very supportive and patient.

“I felt like the previous firm had been dragging its feet and we weren’t really progressing towards a settlement, but once Sam was involved things started moving.

“I did find it difficult as initially I had to go over the same things a number of times, and then there were lots of questions being raised about my husband not being in work and pensions which I didn’t really know about.

“There were times when I said to Sam that I just couldn’t find the information and he said not to worry and that he’d sort things for me. He was really pleasant, understanding and patient.

“I was also then warned that the fact he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident would impact on the case.

“When you’ve lost a loved one and you face all these questions it can be difficult. It feels quite a clinical and somewhat heartless process as every aspect of your loved one’s life is being examined with a value placed on it, and of course no amount of money can replace someone you love. Despite this Sam was always very sensitive in his approach and he explained how the law works.

“It is of course hard to be told that your husband’s worth was essentially only what he earned and contributed financially. From the total settlement the amount for his actual death was just £12,980.

“I find it completely wrong that having a loved one taken from you counts for so little in financial terms, but when something like this happens to you in can put a huge pressure on you financially for the future, so I really appreciate what Hudgell Solicitors have done for me.”

Damages were agreed on basis of car driver being 85% at fault

Senior Solicitor Samuel McFadyen, who is experienced in handling cases of catastrophic injury and dependency claims from fatal accidents, said that the final settlement was reached with an agreement that the deceased was 15% responsible for the accident, given he was not wearing a helmet at the time.

He said: “This was a claim which did have some challenging circumstances in terms of the positon our client was in following her husband’s death.

“The reality was that her husband had been a fit and healthy man, with good life expectancy, and had been someone who had held down well paid employment positons throughout his life, prior to losing his last positon a few months before his accident.

“It was highly probable that he would have secured further good employment, and worked until retirement age, and thankfully this was something that the defendant insurers were prepared to accept after representation.

“The matter of not wearing a protective helmet when the accident happened also had to be taken into consideration, as he did suffer serious head injuries as a result of being knocked from his bike which ultimately led to his death, and that resulted in the settlement being agreed with the defendant accepting 85% liability.

“We, of course, recognise no amount of compensation can lessen the hurt and devastation of losing a loved one in a tragic accident, however, our client was happy with the settlement as it does provide financial stability for her for the future.”

Now almost three years from the accident which took her husband from her, the woman says they have been some of the toughest of her life.

“I could only really cope with returning to work from last September as I just wasn’t mentally strong enough. I tried to return to work a couple of times but I had panic attacks and suffered from depression. I just couldn’t cope.” she said.

“I’ll never forget the day he died as I came home and there were two policemen stood at my door. He’d gone to the rowing club on his bike because it was a sunny day. He died because the sun was out, as he’d usually go in the car.

“You always think it won’t happen to your family and loved ones but it does. It has been a difficult couple of years but I have had support that I am grateful for.”

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