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November 20th 2020

Road Traffic Accidents

London cyclist awarded £15,000 damages for injuries suffered as car driver forced him off road when overtaking

London cyclist awarded £15,000 damages for injuries suffered as car driver forced him off road when overtaking

A cyclist who suffered a fractured breastbone after being forced off the road by an overtaking car driver has been awarded £15,000 damages to compensate him for his injuries.

A cyclist who suffered a fractured breastbone after being forced off the road by an overtaking car driver has been awarded £15,000 damages to compensate him for his injuries.

Julio Castro Guzman, of Harrow on the Hill, London, had been cycling in Camden Town when he suddenly found an overtaking edging towards him.

As a result Mr Guzman ran out of space on the road, causing him to fall from his bike when attempting to jump the kerb and get out of the way. He fractured his breastbone, also suffering a collapsed lung and cuts to his face.

Mr Guzman missed two months of work due to his injuries and was reliant on friends to help him day to day for some time. When he did return to work, he had to change his role to avoid doing any heavy lifting, as he had previously been required to do.

A no win no fee legal case to compensate Mr Guzman, led by specialist Alex Garven, of Hudgell Solicitors, was pursued. It saw damages recovered from the driver’s insurers, despite complications arising which led to the driver’s insurance being cancelled.

Mr Guzman says he is grateful to have come away with compensation for what happened.

“I am really grateful to Alex and Hudgell Solicitors for securing me the compensation settlement as I was quite worried when I was told that there was an issue and that effectively the driver did not have legal insurance at the time of the accident,” said the 33-year-old architect.

“The compensation has come at a really good time given the current uncertainty and the fact that I did have to miss some time at work.”

Mr Guzman believes the driver of the car had simply not seen him, causing the accident.

“I can only imagine that he didn’t see me. It is strange because he came from behind me to overtake, but when the car was alongside me it started drifting towards me from my right and I found myself with no space on the road,” he said.

“I tried to jump the kerb but I didn’t manage it and I went up in the air and landed on the pavement. Initially I felt ok but the people there called an ambulance and they took me into hospital and I was kept in overnight.

“It was painful then, especially in the first few weeks afterwards and I was mainly in bed at home with my flatmates doing everything for me. The accident happened a couple of years ago now, and I still get pains when I am exercising.

“I have got back on my bike, but I don’t go out in busy traffic as much”

Legal case held insurers responsible despite issues over validity of insurance

Personal injury claims specialists Mr Garven said: “For people who have suffered injuries in accidents on the road, the thought of pursuing a claim can seem quite daunting, and that is why we work hard to make it as simple as possible.

“In times cases do become a little more complicated and in this case there were issues to overcome as the insurer became aware of something which led to it cancelling the cover of the car driver involved. However, this transpired after the accident date, and as such there was still an insurance certificate in place at the time Mr Guzman was injured.

“With that the case, the insurers still agreed to settle the claim as they are required to do by law, even though the driver was no longer insured by them, and even though the insurance had been void for reasons we were not made privy to.

“I am pleased that Mr Guzman was happy with his settlement. His case was very similar to many we see involving cyclists whereby they have been riding perfectly legally and safely yet have been injured as a driver has simply not seen them.

“Given the increasing number of cyclists on our roads, we all need to be aware of the risk we pose to cyclists when behind the wheels of vehicles.

“Hopefully, plans by the Government to introduce thousands of miles of new cycle lanes and protected cycle routes in towns and cities over the next five years, as well as the introduction of new required safe passing speeds and distances, will help reduce the danger for cyclists significantly as the injuries suffered can be serious and life-changing.”

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