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Case Summary: H v H - Helen Reynolds of Spencers Solicitors Limited

10/06/20. Case Name: H v H

Accident Date: 09/11/2015

Settlement Date: 08/10/2019



The Claimant brought an action against the Defendant following a road traffic accident in which her father sustained fatal injuries. She brought the claim on behalf of the dependents of the deceased and for the benefit of the estate, as Executrix of the estate of the deceased.

The deceased, a 66-year-old man, had been riding his bicycle when he was involved in a collision with the Defendant driving a car.

The deceased suffered serious injuries from which he died approximately 10 weeks later.


The deceased had been riding his bicycle on a single land road with a contra-flow cycle lane, which ran parallel to a by-pass. The speed limit on the road was 30mph.

The Defendant was driving along the road; there were some parked cars to the left-hand side, and the contra flow cycle lane to the right.

The Police collision investigation report indicated that the Defendant was travelling in excess of the speed limit, but CCTV appeared to show the deceased riding just outside the cycle lane.

A Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant in which it was submitted, inter alia, that the

Defendant: was driving too fast in the circumstances and travelling in excess of the speed limit;

failed to keep and or any proper lookout; failed to look ahead and to see the Claimant’s presence or approach; crossed a solid white line and encroached into the contra flow cycle lane when it was not safe to do so; failed to stop, slow down, swerve or otherwise manoeuvre to avoid the collision.

A Letter of Response was received from the Defendant in which liability was firmly denied, alleging that the deceased had been outside of the cycle lane and had travelled across the path of the Defendant.

The Claimant instructed an accident reconstruction expert to prepare a report based upon the

available evidence. The expert concluded that the evidence was suggestive of the Defendant being in the cycle lane at the time of the collision and travelling at excessive speed.

Medical evidence was obtained in relation to the injuries sustained, and which concluded that the injuries suffered were consistent with the Claimant hitting the windscreen of the Defendant's vehicle and that on an analysis of the mechanics, had the speeds been lower, or had the impact occurred in any other way, the Claimant would have been much less likely to have impacted on the windscreen and suffered the chest, spine and spinal cord injuries and that he would have likely survived.

Conferences were held with the respective experts in order to obtain clarity regarding the

mechanics of the accident and causation.

Proceedings were issued and a Defence was filed in which it was denied that the Defendant had been negligent. The Defendant’s case was that the Claimant veered in front of him and made a collision unavoidable. It was denied that at any point the Defendant’s vehicle had entered the cycle lane.


The deceased was 67 years old at the date of his death.

The deceased sustained multiple injuries including unstable spinal fractures at T2, T3 and T4 with spinal cord damage at this level; meaning that the Claimant was paralysed from the chest downwards. He also sustained multiple facial fracture, rib fractures with underlying lung damage and a significant head injury.

The deceased underwent a tracheostomy and also required chest drains. He was initially put into an induced coma. He suffered problems breathing and an attempt to carry out surgery to his stabilise his neck had to be abandoned due to breathing difficulties. His condition was very unstable, and the long-term prognosis was unclear.

The deceased was able to communicate on a limited basis, primarily through lip reading. He could not remember the accident but was aware that he had suffered injuries. He was frustrated and distressed and had short term memory problems. He was visited by his family daily, but died on 22 January 2016, some 10 weeks after the accident,

The claim was brought by the deceased’s daughter as Executrix of the Estate and settlement was reached in September 2019 in the sum of £100,000.00.

It was considered that the total value of the claim was in the region of £250,00.00. However, there were significant risks in relation to liability and a possible finding of contributory negligence against the deceased.

The matter settled on a global basis and no specific breakdown was given. However, instructing solicitors suggest the following, based on a 40% recovery;

PSLA - £15,000.00

Past Losses - £29,000.00

Future Losses – £56,000.00

Solicitors for the Claimant

Helen Reynolds of Spencers Solicitors Limited

Solicitors for the Defendant


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