Kirsty Handyside
Solicitor
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Date Published:21 Jun 2019 Last Updated:10 Apr 2021

Unexpected Behaviour on the Roads

Personal Injury Claims

Cyclists – be prepared for unexpected behaviour on the roads!

Judge Shanti Mauger recently ruled that a cyclist (the Defendant) was equally liable for an accident involving a pedestrian (the Claimant), despite the Claimant looking at their mobile phone when crossing the road.

The Court heard that the Claimant was one of a group of people crossing the road in rush hour and was looking at her mobile phone when crossing the road. The Claimant only noticed the Defendant approaching at the last moment, despite the fact that the traffic lights were showing green in the Defendant’s favour at the time of crossing.

Judge Mauger said “Even where a motorist or cyclist had the right of way, pedestrians who are established on the road have a right of way. [The Defendant] did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear.”

However, Judge Mauger did recognise that the Claimant was also at fault and that looking at her mobile phone while crossing the road contributed to the accident. For this reason it was held that the Claimant “must clearly have equal responsibility if she is crossing the road without looking – and if she is looking at her phone, even more so,”

The Court ruled that the Defendant was liable to pay 50% of the damages because “Cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways” and therefore while the Claimant will be entitled to some damages, they will only receive half of the full value of the claim.

If you have been injured in an accident as either a pedestrian or a cyclist and would like to discuss making a claim please call David McWilliam on 01202 057710 or email him at david.mcwilliam@ellisjones.co.uk for free specialist advice.