The road safety of cyclists is constant issue, with many arguing that more can and must be done to protect all road users especially those groups such as cyclists who are considered most at risk. We tend to assume that the biggest threat lies from that of other road users with approximately 19,000 cyclists being injured in reported road accidents each year. However a recent case that has attracted much publicity has highlighted another serious threat to cyclists that we often overlook or fail to consider that being the state of roads and path ways.
Mr Uzzell who was partaking in a charity ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats struck a pot hole whilst riding through North Yorkshire, and was consequently thrown into the path of an oncoming car sustaining fatal injuries resulting in his death. Following the incident his wife took civil action, pursuing a claim against the council for their failure to adequately maintain the state of the roads which ultimately caused the chain of events that resulted in her husband’s death. Despite the council denying liability for the accident his wife reached a settlement with the authority receiving a six figure pay out.
The case demonstrates the serious threat poorly maintained roads and pavements pose to the welfare and safety of the public, forming one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK. In order to minimise the risks of accidents local authorities such as counsels are bound by a legal duty to ensure road surfaces are maintained to a sufficient and acceptable standard.
Although cyclists and road users must accept some level of responsibility, where a road surface is clearly defective and can be shown to be the main factor in a causing accident or injury victims may be eligible to pursue a compensation claim. Local authorities such as the North York County Council in the case of Mr Uzzel have a duty of care to the public to ensure their premises are in safe condition, failure to carry out the correct maintenance is a direct breach of this duty and can leave authorities vulnerable to claims.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a cycle accident you may be able to pursue a compensation claim. Cyclists are the most at risk road users in the UK and pursing a personal injury claim can ensure that the correct safeguards are put in place to prevent future accidents from occurring. Contacting a solicitor at the nearest opportunity is essential is maximising the possibility of securing a positive out come for you or your loved one. For a free initial claim assessment contact Farleys’ specialist personal injury team on 0845 050 1958. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.