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Council pays cyclist five-figure settlement over "harrowing" pothole crash

"It was an incredibly challenging period in my life," the rider commented on the incident which saw them thrown from their bike, suffering multiple fractures...

A cyclist received a five-figure settlement from Essex County Council after suffering multiple fractures and other injuries in a crash caused by a pothole.

The council admitted partial liability for the collision, which saw Luke Millward suffer fractures to his arm and wrist, as well as soft tissue damage to his back and hip and a minor head injury, agreeing an out-of-court settlement with the rider.

The Saffron Walden Reporter said the collision happened more than six years ago when Mr Millward, now 45, hit the pothole on Audley End Road and was flung over the handlebars.

He was unable to return to work as a physiotherapist specialising in musculoskeletal issues due to his injuries and suffered mental health struggles with depression and anxiety as a result.

Mr Millward explained how he had lost the confidence to cycle to work once he did return, calling the recovery "incredibly challenging".

> Cyclists injured on Edinburgh tram line paid £1.2m in compensation

"It was an incredibly challenging period in my life," he said. "At the time of the incident, my wife and I had just bought a new home that needed work. We had a young child, and our second one was on the way.

"As you can imagine, having a heavily pregnant wife and no kitchen or bathroom brought a huge amount of stress and strain for me and my whole family. I wouldn’t want to go through anything like that ever again.

"Thompsons and my trade union, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, were able to give me the help and support I needed during this time. My solicitor, Gary, always kept me well-informed on developments and responded promptly to my questions."

The cyclist was helped by Thompsons Solicitors, legal support funded by his union, and secured a settlement claim against Essex County Council after the local authority admitted partial liability.

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: "All compensation claims are investigated fully, and damages paid if the council has been liable. Essex Highways teams are working hard across the county to assess, fix and maintain the roads and footpaths of Essex.

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"Due to our limited resources, we prioritise our work and fix the higher-risk issues first. We rely on members of the public to tell us when there is an issue that needs our investigation, and we would encourage residents to visit the Essex Highways website to tell us about any highways issues that may be of concern."

Gary Tierney, a lawyer from Thompsons added: "This has been a very harrowing experience for Mr Millward, both regarding the physical injuries and the mental distress he's had to endure.

"It’s also had a harmful impact on his young family, creating huge stress and uncertainty for them. I'm pleased that we could secure a positive outcome for him and his family so they can move on with their lives."

In February, we reported the case of an 80-year-old cyclist from South Lanarkshire who received compensation after work from Cycle Law Scotland highlighted that the council's own records showed a history of road defects at the location where Jocky Johnstone suffered fractures to his face and spine.

Potholes in Carnwath (via Cycle Law Scotland)

In September too members of Tamworth Cycling Club said they would seek compensation from the council after a loose gravel crash saw three riders badly injured and with an estimated £10,000 of damage to their bikes.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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Cycloid | 9 months ago

Cycling UK Statistics are a great source of information their survey found that:-

"Authorities on average incurred costs of £277,707.44
670 cyclists and 30893 drivers had their claims accepted.
Motorists received on average £841.26 per successful claim
Cyclists received on average £10,963.15 per successful claim."

If ever you report a pothole include words such as "Could cause serious injury to a cyclist" I have found it works wonders.


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