Rachel was cycling to work in South London and approached the junction of Raleigh Gardens and Western Road in Mitcham. Rachel wished to proceed over the junction. The traffic lights were red so Rachel positioned herself at the front of the queue of traffic and waited to move off.
On Rachel's right hand side was a large lorry. The lorry was not indicating and was therefore presumed to also be travelling straight on. As the lights turned green, the lorry, without warning, started to turn left, with the result that it collided with Rachel and her bicycle, and drove over Rachel's body.
The lorry in fact initially stopped whilst still on Rachel's legs and the driver only moved on hearing witnesses shout at him to do so.
Rachel was taken by ambulance to St George's Hospital where she was treated for severe injuries including a badly broken left leg, a broken right arm, severe damage to her perineum, requiring a colostomy and massive loss of skin to her left leg which required a skin graft taken from her back.
Rachel remained in ICU for over a week and remained in hospital until 30 May 2008 during which time she contracted the C-Diff and MRSA infections, further compromising her recovery. During this time she underwent a major procedure to her left leg in which metalwork was inserted to help heal the double fracture.
Following discharge Rachel required a huge amount of care and was confined to a wheelchair for a further month, following which she required crutches for a further three months.
Rachel underwent a colostomy reversal in September 2008 before requiring a number of further procedures to remove the metalwork and to try to approve the appearance of the leg as well as treatment for PTSD.
Rachel is left with severe lymphoedema, which she will have for life, and which is managed with the use of pressure stockings as well as significant scarring to her right hand, her chest and both legs which will require a number of procedures in the future to rectify.
We were instructed by Rachel to pursue a claim against the driver of the lorry. Liability was initially denied even though the driver was charged with driving without due care and attention.
Following the criminal trial in which the driver was convicted of his charge, an agreement on liability was reached.
Expert reports were obtained from experts in orthopaedic surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery, physiotherapy and psychiatry in order to accurately quantify Rachel's claim.
Following negotiations with the Defendants Rachel's claim settled in the sum of £280,000. Rachel will receive this amount in full as we acted on the basis of a no win-no fee agreement.
Rachel, was happy with this outcome and commented:
"Mark is extremely knowledgeable on the subject of cycle accident claims."
At the end of the claim, Rachel's solicitor, Mark Bowman, commented:
"I am glad that we were able to secure a substantial settlement for Rachel. Unfortunately as a cyclist she has become yet another victim of negligent driving at the hands of a lorry driver in London. The government must take action to ensure that London's roads are safer for cyclists, who are forming an ever increasing percentage of London's road users."
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