August 30, 2019
If we were to ask whether you had heard of the court case of Brushett v Hazeldean, your answer would probably be ‘no’. If, however, we were to ask if you knew anything about the case where an uninsured cyclist had been ordered to pay a large sum of compensation and legal costs after he collided with a pedestrian who had been looking at her phone as she crossed the road, we would guess that many of you would respond along the lines of, ‘Oh that one, yes’. You may well have already formed a view on it too. That’s because the Press have been all over the case, with headlines such as this one from The Independent;
‘Why was a law-abiding cyclist who was passing through a green light ordered to pay compensation to a pedestrian who was staring at here phone?’
or this one from the Evening Standard;
‘Cyclist who hit yoga teacher who stepped into the road while starting at her phone faces bankruptcy after being ordered to pay £100,000’
Much has already been written about the case itself, so here we just provide a brief summary of it:
Several interesting and cautionary points have been raised by this case.
Mr Hazeldean, carried no form of cycling insurance. Had done so, his insurance company would have taken over the case and either settled it by negotiation or allowed the matter to go to court. Either way, they would have paid any costs and compensation that Mr Hazeldean was held liable to pay. He would have not had to pay a penny. In addition, the insurers would have appointed solicitors to act on his behalf at an early stage and their costs would have been covered under the insurance policy too.
There is no legal requirement for cyclists to have third party insurance, which many people consider surprising. If a cyclist causes an accident and damage, loss or personal injury are caused to another party, such as a pedestrian, some home insurance policies, will cover the cyclist, in the event of a claim being made against the cyclist and will pay out compensation to the injured party. However, many home policies will not cover this type of claim.
Our advice to all cyclists, is to check whether any home policy that they have, will cover them if they become involved in a cycling accident. If that is not the case, then they are advised to take out separate cyclist’s insurance cover. By becoming a member of Cycling UK, for instance, you will pay a membership fee of £3.88 per month and that includes £10 million worth of third party insurance cover for both on and off-road cycling accidents.
Robert Hazeldean was quick to admit that he should have instructed solicitors at an earlier stage than he did, to help him with the claim brought against him by Miss Brushett. Had he done so, then they would have undoubtedly advised him to make a counterclaim against her, for the injuries that he sustained. Above all else, this would have protected him from facing a large costs order that he himself would have to pay. Instead his insurance company would have footed the bill.
Spencers Solicitors are experts in bicycle accident claims. If you have been involved in a cycling accident, contact our highly experienced bicycle accident claims team at Spencers, on 08000 93 00 94 for a totally obligation free chat. We’ll be able to advise you on your prospects of making a successful cycling injury compensation claim and answer any questions that you may have. This initial telephone consultation will be entirely free. If you decide that you would like us to take on your claim, in most cases, we'll be able to do this for you by means of a No Win, No Fee personal injury claim. Call Spencers now or enquire online if you prefer to contact us via our website contact form, in the first instance.
Posted in: Employment Law