Compensation for cyclist who lost control over the white line he was crossing

The case centred around the design and maintenance of an off-road route and its compliance with the Cycle Infrastructure Design LTN 2/08. The claim was further complicated by 5 potential defendants all of whom denied any wrong doing.


Matthew Claxson of Aspire Law was assisted by Amanda Brown and leading counsel Martin Porter KC of 2 Temple Gardens.



Our client was out with friends on his bicycle when had the misfortune to suffer severe injuries, including a spinal injury, when he fell from his bicycle. An experienced cyclist, our client had ridden 21 miles before the fall. They were travelling on a dedicated off-road route for cyclists and pedestrians. Our client lost control of his bicycle on a raised white line that extended along the middle of the path intended to divide it into a lane for cyclists and one for pedestrians. Our client considered the raised white line the cause of his fall not any rider error.



Liability was vehemently denied by all the defendants in this case. Whilst an immediate needs assessment was agreed, Initiatives to engage with rehabilitation and interim payments were declined. As a result Aspire Law had no option but to issue court proceedings against five defendants.


Litigation process

As liability was denied the claim proceeded toward a 5-day liability trial. The parties attended the High Court on several occasions for court directions and costs budgets approval. The parties also served and exchanged their expert evidence and witness statements.


Difficulties following injury

Our client was very severely disabled with a high-level injury. He was reliant on others for activities of daily living and required a wheelchair to get around. Given the defendants’ refusal to co-operate our client was reliant on Aspire Law and statutory services and benefits for support.


Developments during the claim

Following exchange of the expert reports there were clear differences of opinion between the experts that would need to be tested at trial if they could not be reconciled. Following joint discussions, the experts were able to agree on very little.



With lability denied, a comprehensive quantum investigation was not warranted. That would follow any successful liability trial. Nevertheless, Aspire Law instructed an expert spinal consultant. This report was sufficient to enable Aspire Law to prepare a basic assessment of the damages due in this case, which ran into many millions of pounds.



Conscious of the risks in this case, Aspire Law looked to compromise the claim relative to the risk of losing any trial. Offers to share liability and money offers were all rejected. Nevertheless, our client was keen to avoid a trial if at all possible. This opened up further channels, which eventually saw the defendants make a significant all-inclusive offer to settle the claim. After deliberation with our client, who was keen to accept the offer, the case was concluded.



On its face this looked simply to be a case of rider error, losing control over a painted white line – a common feature on many of our roads and paths. However, with strong expert evidence, equally expert counsel and perseverance by Aspire Law and our client, a successful



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