The High Court has awarded compensation to a cyclist who was severely injured when he swerved to avoid a pothole.
The cyclist, Alan Curtis suffered a fractured skull and broken arm when he came off his bike in 2009
The Court judged that the local authority had failed in its duty to properly maintain the road where he fell.
The Court heard that Mr Curtis was travelling at approximately 20mph when he lost control. he had fallen off the bike when trying to swerve to avoid a pothole in front of him in the road.
Before the accident he was in a well paid job. As a result of the accident and the injuries he sustained he had to leave the post he was in and take a less stressful position..
The Judge found Hertfordshire County Counci in breach of its duty to inspect and maintain highways in its area, and awarded Mr Curtis compensation totalling £69,425 including interest
The Council had been responsible for the road maintenance and failed to do so. In his Judgement the Judge specifically rejected the claim that Mr Curtis should have had noticed the defect in the road- an argument made by the Council
The Judge said that Mr Curtis could not be found in any way responsible for his injuries for not noticing the defect in time.
The Council were criticised for not being able to demonstrate that it had done all it could to inspect and repair the stretch of road that the accident occurred. Making the position worse for the Council it appeared that an inspection had been carried out some seven months before the crash and identified the road as defective. They had then failed to rectify or repair the road and this had led directly to the accident occurring as it did.
The Council had failed in its duty to repair and inspect the road and their defence was dismissed.
O’Neill Injury Solicitors Comment:
This case shows that the Court is going to have no time for Councils who carry out inspections yet fail to act on their findings leaving the roadway dangerous.
In the Keighley and Skipton area we are all preparing for the Grand Depart and making sure the towns and villages it is going through are as tidy and attractive as possible. However the Councils concerned should take notice of this judgement. It is no good having the place ready for the Grand Depart of the Tour De France in Yorkshire if they ignore their main responsibility to keep the roadway safe.
If you have had an accident that you think may have been caused by a defective roadway or pathway in Skipton and Keighley and surrounding area you should contact O’Neill Injury Solicitors on 01535 958778 or on firstname.lastname@example.org for free local no obligation advice.
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