We’ve all seen potholes and experienced the jolt as you unavoidably bump over one. In a car, hopefully, the worst that will happen will be damage to the vehicle. But for cyclists, the risks are multiplied and can even be fatal.
Cycling is a fantastic way to get around. The benefits for health and the environment are well known. It is encouraged by the Government, as it should be. In some places, there are impressive new cycle lanes and whole networks. However, in most areas cyclists have to use the main road network, with all its potholes, bumps, cracked surfaces and obstacle.
I recently concluded a case for a cyclist injured when he hit a pothole. He was on an urban, arterial road with a 30 mile an hour speed limit. The road is used by many cyclists every day. The local authority even knew about the pothole and have tried a temporary repair but that was so poor it only lasted a few days before the hole was there again.
My client was wearing a helmet, visible clothing, lights and so on. The risk he couldn’t mitigate was enormous potholes. He hit one, which caused him to be thrown off his bike. Thankfully his injuries were orthopaedic and after a few years, he has made almost a full recovery. Some people are not as lucky - I see clients who sustain brain, spinal and fatal injuries.
When a cyclist is injured on the road, it is always worth talking to a solicitor to check whether there is anything that can be done from a legal perspective. Sometimes it’s 'one of those things' but sometimes there are failures and errors which caused the incident. It might be that legal action can lead to changes in how roads are maintained and get the defect fixed. Sometimes there may be compensation to help the person recover and give financial security for their future.
If you have been injured when cycling and would like to discuss this, please feel free to get in touch.