A Portsmouth cyclist has won a £1,500 out-of-court settlement after the seat clamp of his bike broke as he cycled along a road, resulting in him falling into the path of oncoming vehicles, one of which narrowly avoided hitting him.
Matthew Buck, aged 41, was riding home from a shopping trip in April 2011 when the seat clamp broke, reports the Portsmouth News. He sustained a neck injury that resulted in 11 weeks of recovery and a month of physiotherapy, and also suffered cuts and bruises.
The psychological effects of the crash included flashbacks of the incident and led to him suffering from insomnia for five weeks.
A spokesman for his solicitors, Irwin Mitchell, said: “The fault caused Matthew to lose balance and fall whilst still on his bike, trapping his left leg and exposing him to oncoming traffic in the middle of the road with one car missing his head by only two to three feet.”
Both retailer Cycle World Essex and distributor Fisher Outdoor Leisure denied liability but agreed to make the £1,500 out-of-court settlement.
Irwin Mitchell personal injury lawyer Stephanie Whatmore said: “Mr Buck experienced a variety of problems following the accident, which could have been much worse if a car had hit him whilst he was in the road. We are pleased that he has now received justice for an accident that could have been prevented.
“The country is seeing an increase in the number of cyclists on the road but they can be very vulnerable road users. This case highlights the importance of ensuring that the parts of a bicycle are correctly fitted and maintained to prevent any similar accidents in future.”
Mr Buck added: “I am very relieved that the case has come to a close. For two weeks following the accident I was unable to wash my clothes, go shopping, drive or socialise. I was in so much pain and felt angry that the accident had happened but lucky that it had not been worse.
“I don’t want anyone else to have to experience what I did and I hope that those involved take the steps necessary to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Portsmouth News added that a spokesman for Fisher Outdoor Leisure had declined to provide a comment.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.